No plan to sack Russian Federation probe head Mueller: US justice official

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller attends the ceremonial swearing-in of his successor James Comey at the FBI headquarters in 2013

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller attends the ceremonial swearing-in of his successor James Comey at the FBI headquarters in 2013. Getty Images

Rosenstein, who has been on the job for six weeks, described Mueller as operating independently from the Justice Department in his investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential election.

Ruddy argued that Mueller should not have taken the job of special counsel because he was under consideration for the other position, and had had the private meeting with the president for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director appointment.

According to Justice Department rules, special counsel Robert Mueller can not be fired without good cause. "I do believe it would be catastrophic, and I do believe it would destroy any shred of trust in the president's judgment that remains over here", Senator Dianne Feinstein said.

Ruddy emphasized that he thinks firing Mueller would be "a significant mistake" but also that he thinks there is no justification for a special counsel in the first place.

"You're creating a debate that's not happening", interjected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who stood beside Ryan at a news conference held after a House GOP conference meeting at the Republican National Committee on Capitol Hill.

At the time, Sessions said he was recusing himself only because he was involved in the 2016 campaign as an adviser to the Trump campaign.

"It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement", Rosenstein wrote.

A source close to Trump said the president is being counseled to avoid firing the special counsel.

Rosenstein said "I think the answer is no" but said it would depend on the circumstances. Comey told senators he thought publicizing the contents of those memos would prompt the appointment of a special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation.

He said he doubts Mueller can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

On Tuesday, Rosenstein also indicated his conversations with Sessions prior to Comey's dismissal could be a part of Mueller's probe. He is at the Senate committee and goes to the House one at 2 p.m. ET.

The White House was quick to dismiss Ruddy's comments.

"Chris Ruddy speaks for himself", Spicer said.

But after the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey last week, Gingrich said he'd changed his mind. 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. Senators on Tuesday questioned both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on how the inquiry is being handled.

Can Trump fire special counsel Robert Mueller? Richardson and his deputy refused.

Tuesday morning, Trump supporter Ari Fleischer, who served as President George W. Bush's press secretary, again highlighted the issue of Mueller's probe being handled by attorneys who have donated mostly to Democrats, a message that Donald Trump Jr. quickly retweeted to his own 1.7 million followers.

He said that, since his recusal, he had never been given information or details about the Russian Federation investigation.

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