Friend says Trump is considering 'terminating' Mueller

Lance Nichols
June 17, 2017

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.

Trump has expressed frustrations with Sessions, one of the president's earliest high-profile backers. Trump himself does not have the authority to directly fire the special counsel. She said such a move would "destroy any shred of trust in the president's judgment that remains over here".

Ruddy said in an interview Monday with Judy Woodruff of PBS, "I think he's weighing that option". "I never said I had a conversation", Ruddy said on CNN.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, disputed that report.

Asked in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing if there was any cause to fire Mueller, Rosenstein flatly replied: "No".

Ruddy said the ethics behind Mueller's presence are concerning considering how he was appointed to be special counsel.

A senior White House official confirmed that the President had interviewed Mr Mueller for the FBI post in the Oval Office the day before Mr Rosenstein tapped him to be the special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation.

On the other hand, it would cause a political storm, said the writer. Their attempts to frame Mueller's firing as a right-wing conspiracy came into full focus when the Times mentioned that conservative talk show hosts, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, called for Comey to be fired or to "step aside", respectively.

"I do believe it would be catastrophic, and I do believe it would destroy any shred of trust in the presidents judgment that remains over here", Senator Dianne Feinstein said. The person demanded anonymity to discuss strategy on the sensitive matter. There's no reason to fire Mueller.

"I won't mince words, " Leahy told Rosenstein on Tuesday.

The Washington Post actually outlines a scenario Trump would take in order to fire Mueller that is exactly parallel to Nixon's methods in Watergate, though Trump himself, nor anyone else in his administration, has said he would fire Mueller. And since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, Rosenstein is acting in that capacity.

The notion was dismissed by senior White House aides later Monday evening, who said that Ruddy does not speak for the president. Such a move would create a firestorm coming weeks after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. "I think the best vindication for the president is to let the investigation go on independently and thoroughly".

Said Ryan: "I know Bob Mueller". Still, he said: "Bob Mueller did a great job as Federal Bureau of Investigation director". But at some point down the chain of command a countervailing principle, call it the Bork principle, arises: stability in the Justice Department and in law enforcement more generally. "You are not the witness we were supposed to hear from today".

Leahy says he wants to know why Sessions "has provided false testimony" about those contacts.

CNN's April Ryan on Monday described "mass hysteria" in the White House over concerns the president is considering terminating special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein to oversee the Russian Federation investigation.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, warned on Twitter that "If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller".

Congress could pass a replacement for the expired Independent Counsel Act, Dershowitz said, but official passage of the law would require the president's signature.

And while he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Sessions insisted, "I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations".

Apart from Rosenstein and Sessions, the only confirmed Justice official is Rachel Brand, the associate attorney general, whom the Senate approved on a party-line vote.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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