Friend says Trump weighs firing special counsel Mueller

"I think the way the investigation is shaping up, he's out to get the president".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is also testifying on Capitol Hill today, in the House and Senate appropriations committees.

Until now, Mueller had drawn widespread praise from Republicans and Democrats alike. But with the appointment of Mueller, the near-universally praised former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, it seemed the country would have a chance to take a breath and return to something like normal order. However, after facing numerous complaints, Bork ended up appointing another special prosecutor who, after nine months of investigation, found enough damning information that Nixon made a decision to resign. He added that fundraising records show some of the lawyers whom Mueller selected for his team have contributed to Democrats.

The official, who would not detail what the two discussed during the interview, said it took place on May 16. That appeared to include Gingrich, who until recently expressed support for Mueller's appointment on the grounds that it would alleviate pressure in the Russian Federation affair.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on Ruddy's remarks.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law professor who headed the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel during the George W. Bush administration, offered a careful assessment of the consequences of a Mueller firing early Tuesday on the Lawfare blog.

Given that kind of support, a Democratic lawmaker, Ted Lieu, taunted the White House over the Mueller-firing chatter: "Double dare exists".

Have you heard that President Trump might fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller?

In response, press secretary Sean Spicer issued a brief statement, claiming Ruddy "never spoke to the President regarding" the special counsel, and that "only the President or his attorneys are authorized to comment". On Monday, speculation was stoked that Trump was considering terminating Mueller, after a confidante of the president suggested it was under consideration.

"My view is that subpoenas should be issued right away for all the tapes that may exist, even to establish that they don't exist, subpoenas should be issued right away and to preserve their existence", Blumenthal said, referring to Trump's tweet that former FBI Director James Comey "better hope there are no "tapes" of our conversations". In a major story, The New York Times claimed that Trump was angered by reports that Mueller was close to fired FBI Director James Comey and entertained the idea of firing the special counsel.

"If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller". The interview was first reported by PBS.

Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Russian Federation during the presidential campaign, and Comey and others have testified that there is no evidence to the contrary.

Asked whether he had seen any reason for Mueller to be removed, Rosenstein responded, "No, I have not".

Sessions on Saturday said he would appear before the intelligence committee, which has been doing its own investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. Neal Katyal spelled out three ways to thwart this kind of criminal probe in a Washington Post piece titled, "Trump or Congress can still block Robert Mueller".

Barry Bennett, a GOP strategist who served as an adviser to Trump's campaign, said he believed it would be too damaging for Trump to try to remove Mueller, but that he had concerns about the appearance that the probe was being politicized. Asked whether he felt Trump's behavior amounts to obstruction of justice, he replied: "I don't know, that's Bob Mueller's job to sort that out". He is "confident", he said, that Mueller has full independence.

Rosenstein's conduct there called his impartiality into question.



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