Deputy attorney general says he sees no reason to fire special counsel


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

Rosenstein said that because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation matter, Mueller could only be fired by Rosenstein himself.

Asked if he would fire Mueller on the president's orders, he said: "I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders".

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any Russia-related investigations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would then have the authority to remove Mueller.

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee's open hearing on Russian Federation, to clarify amid growing criticism of Republicans after Comey´s testimony.

Ruddy made waves in a Monday, telling anchor Judy Woodruff he'd been at the White House and that he could report that Trump is considering having former FBI director Robert Mueller, who is leading the special investigation, removed.

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Trump has made it clear that he is frustrated by the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, which United States intelligence officials have said was done to tilt the outcome in Trump's favor. "I am going to defend the integrity of that investigation", said Rosenstein.

Several conservative allies of Trump have criticized Mueller in recent days, and a friend of Trump, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, said on Monday evening that Trump was thinking about firing Mueller.

"Mr. President we thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve you and your agenda", said White House Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus. Gingrich noted that at least four members of Mueller's team had donated to Democratic presidential campaigns and groups, saying it's "time to rethink" Mueller's role.

Allies of the President cast doubt on the idea that Mr Trump would take such a drastic step, and officials said Mr Ruddy had not met Mr Trump directly while visiting the White House on Monday.

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel".

Ruddy said, however, that doing so would "be a very significant mistake".

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"Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the President regarding this issue", Spicer said.

Republicans in Congress are also shaking off the notion that Trump could fire Mueller.

Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey worked closely for years in the George W. Bush administration, when Mueller was FBI director and Comey was deputy attorney general. "I have confidence in Bob Mueller".

Under Department of Justice rules, it is actually up to the deputy attorney general to make that call, though the president could bypass that protocol.

Ruddy says he has not talked to Trump about Mueller but insists that his sourcing on the story is air tight.

It was no t clear whether Mr Ruddy, who speaks with the president often, was basing his remarks on a specific conversation with the president or entirely on Mr Sekulow's comments.

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Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on the issues Gingrich and others have raised.