Economy

Trump considering 'terminating' Russia probe leader

Trump considering 'terminating' Russia probe leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said he had "a lot of confidence" in special counsel Robert Mueller, one day after Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy said President Donald Trump was considering firing Mueller.

Under Justice Department regulations created to ensure a measure of independence for the special counsel, Rosenstein may only fire Mueller for "good cause". "If there were not good cause, it would not matter what anybody says".

In what has ignited another firestorm of debate in polarized Washington, a longtime friend of President Trump said Monday night that Trump is "weighing" whether to dismiss Robert Mueller, the Justice Department special counsel investigating possible ties between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he consults with a career ethics official when questions arise about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation investigation.

Rosenstein added, "Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence he needs to conduct the investigation appropriately", adding that he hadn't communicated with Mueller since he was appointed as special counsel role.

"Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

"That is a real question about what Comey did and whether what he did was appropriate in terms of taking documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then leaking them with the express objective of getting a special counsel who turned out to be Mueller appointed", Fitton told host Bill Tucker "America Talks Live".

The effort to muddy the waters surrounding the investigation is coming amid growing White House concern that the probe could detract from the president's agenda for months or years to come.

"This is an illegitimate special counsel", Ruddy said. Compounding the strangeness is that just a few weeks ago, Trump was considering Mueller to once again become FBI Director.

"I personally think it would be a very significant mistake", Ruddy added.

Ignatius quoted Jack Goldsmith, a one-time justice department legal counsel to the George W. Bush administration, as saying that such a decision would be a "bad idea - for the nation, and for the president" and that he had a "hard time believing it is a live possibility".

Rosenstein says the attorney general would be the only one who could fire Mueller.

Spicer had said that Ruddy was at the White House Monday to meet with White House aides, but did not speak with the president. He described Mueller as operating independently from the Justice Department in his investigation.

In response, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee said Tuesday that Congress would not sit still if Trump chose to fire the special counsel.

"If there were good cause", I would consider it", Rosenstein testified.

"The best advice would be to let Robert Mueller do his job.", he said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-S.C.) raised a few eyebrows when he suggested on "Fox News Sunday" that Mueller, special counsel for the Russian Federation investigation, was "anything but neutral".

The appearances, however, are likely to be overshadowed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' public appearance at a Senate intelligence committee hearing.

Ryan said the smartest thing for the president to do would be to let the investigation continue and be vindicated.

Katyal put that nightmare scenario in starker terms when he explained to Maddow how the law is supposed to work: "The president does effectively have the power to get rid of Mueller". Mr Gingrich said he is troubled by Democratic donations of Mr Mueller's picks to help lead the probe.


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