Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Trump Weighs Firing Mueller, According To Confidante

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Darrell Mcdonald | 19 June, 2017, 00:52

Chris Ruddy to @JudyWoodruff: President Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who he considered for another position. A special counsel who likes Comey is likely to take a dim view of his firing and thus adopt the least charitable of Trump's motive. If he pulls the trigger on Mueller, Frum said, Trump should expect the same response Congress offered when Nixon ordered first Attorney General Elliot Richardson, then Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus and finally Solicitor General Robert Bork to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

During a hearing on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) before a joint House and Senate appropriations subcommittee, Rosenstein was asked whether he had seen any evidence of that. "You have my assurance that we are faithfully going to follow that regulation, and Director Mueller is going to have the independence he needs".

Top Justice Department officials testified on June 13 that it's actually up to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who originally appointed Mueller to his post, to decide whether he should go, though the president could bypass that protocol. Trump is said to be proud of yesterday's not-so-nimble refusal to pledge support to Mueller, seeing it as an artfully tactical ploy aimed at steering the investigation toward his desired outcome of total, public exoneration.

"If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller", Schiff tweeted Monday night.

"I have talked to the president recently but we did not talk about the Mueller situation at all", Ruddy said.

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

Point (3) may require an assessment of the precise reason for Comey's discharge - e.g., was it the director's unwillingness to say Trump wasn't being investigated; was it the director's persistence in investigating Flynn; was it general dissatisfaction with the pace or course of the investigation?

Mueller has already served 12 years as Federal Bureau of Investigation director - two years longer than the 10-year term.

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. "I think there's a conflict there". "I personally think it would be a very significant mistake - even though I dont think there's a justification. for a special counsel in this case", Ruddy said. "Look who he is hiring". Republicans and Democrats alike are calling for this investigation, for the process to continue.

His comments came just days after explosive comments by ousted FBI director James Comey to the same committee, suggesting that Trump sought to interfere with the investigation.

At a morning press conference, Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy grew frustrated at reporters asking about Mueller, insisting there was no story.

Trump has told associates he has the legal authority to fire Mueller.

Lawmakers were eager to ask Rosenstein about whether the special counsel was safe from being fired by the president after Ruddy made his provocative comments on PBS's "NewsHour" that Trump was "weighing" whether to dismiss Mueller. The person demanded anonymity to discuss strategy on the sensitive matter.

"Director Comey's testimony once again proved that there was no obstruction" of the Russian Federation investigations, Ruddy said, adding the president and his top aides felt that some people in Washington were trying to undermine Trump's agenda by focusing on the investigations.

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