Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Tuesday he's seen no basis for firing Robert Mueller, the former FBI director he appointed as special counsel to oversee an investigation into potential co-ordination between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation.
Members are using the event as a chance to grill Rosenstein about other topics, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election and Rosenstein's decision to tap Mueller as special counsel.
Schiff told CNN's Anderson Cooper if Mueller was ousted, Congress would have to re-establish the Independent Counsel Act that expired following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
"I mean, these are people who are going to be after [President Donald] Trump", Gingrich told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Tuesday, adding that he believes the investigation should be curtailed given the biases associated with the case.
"I think he's weighing that option", Ruddy said.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about Ruddy's claims.
The responsibility for appointing (or theoretically firing) Mueller lies with Rosenstein because his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself in March from all investigations involving Russian Federation and the 2016 elections.
SHAPIRO: And so the question would be, was the dismissal of Comey meant to obstruct the investigation into possible collusion or Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign? "And I'm not going to speculate on what he will or will not do".
Pres. Trump: Obstruction of Justice Probe "Phony Story"
Probing the president for possible crimes is a complicated affair, even if convincing evidence of a crime is found. Coats was attending a briefing at the White House together with officials from several other government agencies.
Conservative commentator David Frum, the author of a history of the 1970s, said on MSNBC that Trump shouldn't read too much into the muted response from the legislators who have the power to impeach and remove him from office.
Mueller's firing would not only short-circuit the FBI investigation of the Trump entourage, it would hobble any effort to impeach the president.
Allies of the president cast doubt on the idea that Trump would take such a drastic step, and White House officials said Ruddy had not met directly with the president while he was there.
Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said his panel will investigate the removal of former FBI Director James Comey and "any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations".
"Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair", Gingrich tweeted after praising Mueller's integrity in recent weeks. A spokesman for Mr Mueller's team declined to comment. In what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre, President Richard Nixon ordered then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox.
Ruddy also explained that press secretary Sean Spicer reached out to him hoping he would clarify he never spoke to Trump on the issue.
Attorney General Jeff Session, right, and Vice President Mike Pence attend a Cabinet meeting with President Donald Trump, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.