Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says there's no cause to fire Mueller

Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller in mid-May as special counsel overseeing the the investigation into whether the President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 election, noted that under the special counsel regulations, only the attorney general has the authority to fire such an appointee.

Some have alleged that Mueller can not be a fair special counsel because of his relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by President Donald Trump last month. This testimony came just one day after a confidant of Trump floated that the president was "considering, perhaps terminating the special counsel".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein affirmed his support for Russian Federation special counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday, despite recent suggestions that President Trump was weighing Mueller's dismissal.

"I have determined that a special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome", Rosenstein said last month. "If there were not good cause, it would not matter to me what anybody said", he said.

Speaking from the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was "frankly disturbed" by Trump's "hard right" supporters attempting to "discredit" Mueller and "sully his reputation".

The suggestion that the scope of Mueller's investigation may extend beyond the Trump campaign's activity to the recent firing of the FBI Director would indicate that the special counsel could be looking into a possible cover-up. "I personally think it would be a significant mistake, even though I don't think there is a justification [for a special counsel]". "With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment", White House press secretary Sean Spicer told NPR.

But that power belongs to Rosenstein, who said he sees no good reason to fire Mueller.

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Sessions was initially supposed to testify before the appropriations subcommittee, but requested to send Rosenstein in his place.

The White House, however, said Trump and Ruddy have never discussed the issue.

"Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately", Rosenstein said.

Trump's allies have begun raising questions about the former FBI director's impartiality, suggesting he can not be trusted to lead the investigation.

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

The appearances, however, are likely to be overshadowed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' public appearance at a Senate intelligence committee hearing.

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