Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

No longer out of bounds: Trump allies question Mueller probe

No longer out of bounds: Trump allies question Mueller probe

The responsibility for appointing (or theoretically firing) Mueller lies with Rosenstein because his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself in March from all investigations involving Russian Federation and the 2016 elections.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY Is Robert Mueller the next to go?

But hours later, former House Speaker and Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich again bounced up what appeared to be a trial balloon, saying those who believe that the investigation is going to be "neutral" and "professional" are "delusional", and calling special counsels "very unsafe". "Special Counsel Mueller will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result".

Rosenstein testified that he is the only one who has the authority to fire Mueller, who was appointed following the May 9 ousting of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and that he had seen no good cause to do so.

Technically, it's up to the attorney general to decide what to do with the special counsel.

So as deputy attorney general, Rosenstein would have the power to remove Mueller from his position - as long as he had a good reason to do that and put it in writing.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said Ruddy "never spoke to the president regarding this issue". "With respect to the subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment". I'll say very positive things when they're warranted.

But Kenneth Starr, who investigated the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals as an independent counsel during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, rallied to Mueller's defense.

"It makes sense to point out any level of bias, to highlight any biases inherent in Mueller and this probe in order to force him to be transparent", Gingrich said.

Mueller was succeeded by James Comey, who was sacked by Trump last month while he was overseeing the investigation into potential Russian interference into last year's election and potential collusion with the Trump presidential campaign. Sessions told senators on Tuesday that he'd recused himself because he was part of Trump's campaign.

Second, he said Congress could muck up Mueller's investigation.

Ryan echoed that sentiment, calling the reports about the president possibly moving to fire Mueller "a rumor".

The comments come amid increasing frustration at the White House and among Trump supporters that the investigation will overshadow the president's agenda for months to come - a prospect that has Democrats salivating. In 1973, Nixon turned to the third-ranking Justice official, Solicitor General Robert Bork, who fired Cox in his capacity as acting attorney general.

Lawyer Jay Sekulow has questioned the appropriateness of Mr Mueller's actions in reviewing Mr Comey's testimony against Mr Trump last week, before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Schiff says that if Trump fires Mueller, Congress might name its own independent counsel to investigate the case.

Mr Sessions vigorously denied having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the US.

Rosenstein is scheduled to testify today before both Senate and House subcommittees regarding the Justice Department's budget, and he is likely to be questioned about Mueller's status.

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