No cause to fire special counsel Mueller: deputy attorney general Rosenstein

Laura Ingraham appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning to deride reports from Newsmax CEO and Trump confidante Chris Ruddy that the president is considering terminating special counsel Robert Mueller. I think it's very clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently.

"Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately", Rosenstein said.

It was unclear if there would be any serious consequences from Republican senators were Trump to fire Rosenstein and anyone else who might refuse an order to remove the special counsel. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation because of his own conversations with Russian officials during the Trump transition.

Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, meanwhile, asked Rosenstein whether a direct order from President Trump would constitute "good cause" to fire Mueller.

From a conservative radio talk show: "I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel, because Comey makes so clear that it's the poison fruit of a deliberate manipulation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation director leaking to the New York Times, deliberately set up this particular situation".

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.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the White House and President Donald Trump should let the special counsel's investigation continue, and await vindication.

In his dramatic appearance before former colleagues, Sessions also contradicted a contention made by former FBI Director James Comey at a hearing before the same panel last week.

Ryan also expressed some frustration at the focus on the Russian Federation probe rather than other issues - such as the Department of Veterans Affairs reform bill the House is expected to pass Tuesday afternoon. "Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue", Spicer said.

Ruddy lashed out at Spicer and the White House communications team in a Tuesday interview on MSNBC, calling their behavior "amateur hour" and accusing them of failing the president.

Because Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation over his connection to Trump's campaign and his undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador, it was Rosenstein's decision to appoint a special counsel to lead the investigation.

In May, Rosenstein had announced the appointment of Mueller, a former FBI director, to serve as special counsel overseeing the FBI's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with members of the Trump campaign. But both appearances, however, are being overshadowed by Sessions' public appearance at a Senate intelligence committee hearing.

"If (Comey) and the others at the Justice Department with whom he colluded had felt like there had been an obstruction of justice, then they conspired to violate the law by together holding that back so they could blackmail (Trump) later", Gohmert said.

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again.

  • Larry Hoffman