Rosenstein Says He Won't Fire Special Counsel Unless There's Good Cause

Faith Castro
June 13, 2017

Shortly after leaving the White House, Ruddy appeared on PBS Newshour and said that Trump is considering firing special prosecutor Bob Mueller, who is investigating the Trump campaign's potential collusion with Russia, Trump's firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, and related matters.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, did say he would be "surprised" if Trump fired Mueller.

Ryan told reporters Tuesday: "The best advice would be to let Robert Mueller do his job".

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the subcommittee's top Democrat, said she also was "troubled" by Sessions' cancellation.

Conway also said Comey's testimony showed President Donald Trump was not under investigation.

On the other hand, it would cause a political storm, said the writer. "I personally think it would be a very significant mistake, even though I don't think there's a justification... for a special counsel". In a statement Monday evening, Spicer responded that Ruddy "never spoke to the president regarding this issue", adding that "only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment" on the matter.

But a source close to the President said Trump is being counseled to steer clear of such a dramatic move like firing the special counsel.

Overall, it is probably safe to say that if Trump were to try to fire Mueller, let alone succeed, public confidence in the administration, and the US government itself, would be very shaken.

If Trump were to fire Mueller, after firing Comey, the Russian Federation investigation would continue in various forms nonetheless, as both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are conducting their own ongoing investigations and the FBI investigation continues as well, though if Mueller were fired, he would no longer oversee that branch of the probe.

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Allies of the president cast doubt on the idea that Trump would take such a drastic step, and White House officials said Ruddy had not met directly with the president while he was there.

Rosenstein said "no, I have not", when asked by Shaheen whether he has seen good cause to fire Mueller.

Ruddy's comments followed days of seemingly coordinated attacks on Mueller's integrity by Trump allies.

The independent counsel statute, passed after Watergate, allowed the appointment of a prosecutor who would look into high-level executive branch wrongdoing and answer to a panel of judges, and who could not be fired by the president, as Nixon sought to do.

Ruddy's media company leans far to the right, and he is widely known as a personal confidant of the president.

President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House.

Schiff told CNN's Anderson Cooper if Mueller was ousted, Congress would have to re-establish the Independent Counsel Act that expired following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. "I have confidence in Bob Mueller".

Under current Justice Department regulations, such a firing would have to be done by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' deputy, Rod Rosenstein, the wire service said.

The Justice Department says Sessions has requested Tuesday's committee hearing be open because he "believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him".

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