Deputy acting attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Justice Department's investigation into Russia because attorney general Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsSessions decries "innuendo" surrounding him Twitter mocks Sessions for referencing "Jewish AIPAC event" Sessions: Suggestion of collusion with Russians an "appalling and detestable lie" MORE has recused himself, has the power to fire Mueller. Then, crucially, he says that according to the special counsel regulations, Mueller "may be fired only for good cause", and that he is "required to put that cause in writing".
If Trump orders Rosenstein to fire Mueller and Rosenstein complies, the position of a special counsel would remain vacant, until - or unless - Rosenstein appoints another one.
"I never said I spoke to the President", he added.
According to Justice Department rules, special counsel Robert Mueller can not be fired without good cause.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation. "I think he should let Bob Mueller do his job, do his job independently, and do his job quickly, because I think that that's what he would want to have happen".
Mueller was appointed Federal Bureau of Investigation director by President George W. Bush in 2001 and served until 2013, when James Comey took over as head. I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently. Gingrich said he is troubled by Democratic donations of Mueller's picks to help lead the probe.
As Jeff Sessions is set to testify in the ongoing Russian Federation investigation Tuesday, this much is clear: while Mueller and his team expand their probe and edge, ever-closer, to Trump, they will continue to field an onslaught not just from the president, but from his band of supporters. But if he tries to sack the special counsel, he will be making a bet that the country is too weak and disoriented to stand together behind its constitutional structure of law - which, really, would be the saddest outcome of all.
Trump is clearly not insecure about former FBI Director James Comey's testimony last week, Colbert said, because he said so himself at a press conference on Friday, plus a little extra. Trump himself does not have the authority to directly fire the special counsel.
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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said that Trump hadn't discussed the Mueller matter with Ruddy, the Newsmax CEO. He has brought to the White House the values of a failed Atlantic City casino owner turned reality-TV star.
ROSENSTEIN: Yes, senator. It's done in the order, which I believe was issued on May 17th, and the order references the regulation from which you've read, and so that is the source of his authority.
There's been some discussion about whether Republicans in Congress would hold Trump accountable for this action or let him get away with it, but this is a false binary. "But the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside".
But Stephen Gillers, a New York University professor who specializes in legal and judicial ethics, said the Mueller interview with Trump presented "no conflict whatsoever".
"The European part, he accomplished what he intended", Gingrich said, agreeing that the presidency is a work in progress that "will be until the day President Trump leaves'".
On CNN to anchor Chris Cuomo: "I think it is a consideration the president has had, because Mueller is illegitimate as special counsel".