Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says there's no cause to fire Mueller

CNN has reported at the time that the White House was given only a brief heads up that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was naming Mueller to oversee Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion from Trump's campaign associates.

That decision would fall to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who testified Tuesday in a Senate budget hearing that he would only fire Mueller for good cause and has seen no evidence of that. If Trump were to make such a move, he would have to order Rosenstein to fire Mueller. "If there were not good cause it wouldn't matter what anyone said".

Amid reports that US President Donald Trump was considering firing the special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation investigations, a senior Justice Department official said that he - and not the President - is the only official empowered to dismiss the prosecutor and that he sees no reason to do so.

In the same interview, Ruddy said that the president was considering terminating Mueller as special counsel.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday any talk about Trump wanting to rid himself of the special investigator amounts to "rumor".

On Mr. Rosenstein's first standard - legality - there is an argument that Mr. Trump would have the authority to dismiss Mr. Mueller, though doing so would not be simple. "Special Counsel Mueller will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result". Allies of the President cast doubt on the idea that Mr. Trump would take such a drastic step, and White House officials said Mr. A longtime friend, Christopher Ruddy, surfaced the president's thinking in a television interview Monday night, setting off a frenzied day of speculation that he would go through with it.

Trump advisors and conservative pundits including Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter have called for Mueller's removal. Sessions says he was there for a speech by then-candidate Donald Trump and members of Sessions' staff were also in attendance. And Rosenstein said Mueller could not be fired without his personal assent.


The White House, however, said Trump and Ruddy have never discussed the issue.

Schiff told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that if Trump fired Mueller, Congress might name its own independent counsel to investigate the case.

High-profile supporters of President Donald Trump have started to turn on Mueller as he builds his legal team, raising questions about the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's impartiality and suggesting he can not be trusted to lead the probe.

Of course, Rosenstein's answer does not confirm that Mueller is definitely exploring the issue.

The top Justice Department official overseeing the investigation into Russian Federation also assured senators that Mueller has been granted complete independence to do his work. That, to me, is the smartest thing to do, the best thing to do, and that's what I think hopefully will happen.

If the regulations were rescinded, Trump would no longer be required to cite any cause in removing Mueller. The reason he gave is that it could be "within the scope of Director Mueller's investigation" and that "we don't want people talking publicly about open investigations", he said.

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