Trump Cheerleaders Turn on Special Counsel Mueller

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President Donald Trump has no intention to fire Robert Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director in charge of investigating Russia's US-election meddling, the White House said Tuesday.

While the president's aides have sought to sow skepticism about Mueller, whom they interviewed about the possibility of returning to the FBI job the day before he accepted his position as special counsel, few have advocated his termination, reflecting the recognition that Trump's angry reactions to the congressional and FBI investigations now underway are imperiling his presidency.

I met Mueller only once, when he was assistant attorney general for the criminal division.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the White House and President Donald Trump should let the special counsel's investigation continue, and await vindication. What's more, in order to accomplish that wrecking operation, the president would probably have to fire Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who entrusted the Russian Federation investigation to Mueller after Atty.

Sessions said he recused himself from the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation to require the step because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

President Donald Trump speaks to Associated Press Chief White House Correspondent Julie Pace in the Oval Office in Washington, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Rosenstein said Tuesday that Mueller has his full backing to conduct an independent investigation.

SCHATZ: I know that, but is there such a document?

He told PBS's "NewsHour" on Monday that Trump was "considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel". Neal Katyal spelled out three ways to thwart this kind of criminal probe in a Washington Post piece titled, "Trump or Congress can still block Robert Mueller".

Ruddy added that Mueller is "a man of integrity" but said that the far-ranging nature of the investigations could cause issues for Mueller in the future, given those factors.

Trump's allies have begun raising questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's impartiality - he's a former FBI director who has worked with fired FBI Director James Comey - and floating the idea that Trump might replace him. A year ago, it would have seemed inconceivable for a president to fire his FBI Director, and yet that's exactly what Trump did. Regulations say the prosecutor can be removed on grounds of "misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies", and the termination must be in writing.

Jeannie Rhee, who previously served as a deputy assistant attorney general and now works as a partner in the investigations practice at WilmerHale, donated to the Democratic National Committee as well as campaign PACs Obama in 2008 and 2011, and Clinton's campaign in 2015 and 2016.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal Trump adviser, tweeted Monday, "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".

One would think that history would be enough to persuade Trump that firing Mueller is a road he doesn't want to travel.

"While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so", deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday when asked if Trump meant to fire Mueller.

The talk about dismissing Mueller appeared to be coming from Trump allies - including some close to White House strategist Steve Bannon - who are increasingly frustrated with the prospect of a long and winding probe.

"Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive", Jay Sekulow said on ABC's "This Week."

Special counsels, which were created through a 1999 act of Congress, don't answer directly to the president.

But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One late on June 13 that "while the president has the right to" fire Mueller, "he has no intention to do so".

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