Pat Buchanan: Deputy AG Would Buck Trump on Mueller Firing
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 16, 2017,
Jun 16, 2017, 14:28
The statement came after Sen.
After President Donald Trump's friend, Chris Ruddy, said Monday night that Trump is considering firing Mueller, Rosenstein said in a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing that Mueller can "only be fired for good cause", and it would be his job to put that good cause into writing.
"I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are proper and appropriate orders", he said.
Members are using the event as a chance to grill Rosenstein about other topics, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election and Rosenstein's decision to tap former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing that probe. That's what I would do. Lindsey Graham of SC tried to clarify where that line for "good cause" was. "If there were not good cause, it would not matter to me what anybody said", he said.
Collins' question was prompted by recent media reports that Mueller's role leading the DOJ's Russian Federation investigation could be in jeopardy.
"I think he is considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy, who leads the conservative news website Newsmax, said on PBS NewsHour.
Of course, Rosenstein's answer does not confirm that Mueller is definitely exploring the issue. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake".
A person close to Trump's legal team also said earlier Tuesday that there have been no discussions about firing Mueller.
Tuesday morning, Trump supporter Ari Fleischer, who served as President George W. Bush's press secretary, again highlighted the issue of Mueller's probe being handled by attorneys who have donated mostly to Democrats, a message that Donald Trump Jr. quickly retweeted to his own 1.7 million followers.
"And the reason for that is, that if it is within the scope of Director Mueller's investigation - and I've been a prosecutor for 27 years - we don't want people talking publicly about the subjects of ongoing investigation", he continued. After responding that he had not, Rosenstein reassured Shaheen of his confidence in the process.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made his second appearance before a Congressional body on Tuesday when he answered questions from the House Appropriations Committee. Dianne Feinstein of California, Rosenstein testified that now he would have to assent to Mueller's firing because of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from investigations involving the 2016 campaign and that he would not now do so because he did not see the good cause that is required by the special counsel law.
At the time, Sessions said he was recusing himself only because he was involved in the 2016 campaign as an adviser to the Trump campaign. The attorney general is expected to be closely questioned about his contacts with Kislyak and his role in last month's firing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.
In a February meeting, Comey said, Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.