USA counsel for Russian Federation inquiry to be fired only if 'appropriate'

Wednesday, 14 Jun, 2017

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told members of a Senate appropriations subcommittee that he is the only person who is able to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and that he has seen no reason to do so.

Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday morning, Rosenstein was asked to respond to a claim from President Trump's friend Christopher Ruddy that Trump was considering firing Robert Mueller.

Sessions then recused himself in March from overseeing the FBI's Russian Federation probe and delegated that authority to his new deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.

Trump supporters are mounting a campaign to have the US President fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is tasked with investigating Russian subversion of the 2016 elections, amid expressions of adulation and sycophancy by his cabinet colleagues that has drawn derisive comparison to what happens in dictatorships and totalitarian regimes.

Rosenstein said that he is the only one now charged with possibly firing Mueller and that he does not see the required "good cause" to do so.

Should Trump want to go around the department, the president would need to repeal the regulations enacted in 1999 that protect the special counsel from being summarily fired.

Rosenstein also told Graham that "as long as I'm in this position, senator, it would be my responsibility to make that decision" to fire Mueller.

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy said in an interview with Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour.

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

The public testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee should yield Sessions' most extensive comments to date on questions that have dogged his entire tenure as attorney general and that led him three months ago to step aside from the Russian Federation probe.

Accused leaker Reality Winner pleads not guilty, denied bail
She has been jailed in neighboring Lincoln County since her arrest , according to a booking report released by the sheriff. Winner's mother told CNN that her daughter isn't especially political and is struggling with the situation.

Gingrich also said that Republicans in Congress "ought to look into" the fact that the first four people Mueller hired were all Democrats, including one who worked for the Clinton Foundation in the past, calling them "bad people". Richardson refused and resigned, as did Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.

NPR reported on Friday that Mueller was being considered to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation before being named special counsel.

"I think he's weighing that option", Ruddy said.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter offered a similar message, tweeting, "Now that we know TRUMP IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION, Sessions should take it back & fire Mueller".

President Trump just welcomed another unlikely darling of the Christian right with a history of jilted business partners and employees.

Mueller was appointed on May 17 by the Justice Department as special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 United States elections and related matters.

Trump can not directly dismiss Mueller.

Some Republicans have suggested that Mueller may have a conflict of interest because of his close relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last month.

Less than a month ago, he called Mueller a "superb choice", someone whose "reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said via email, "Chris speaks for himself".