Schiff: 'Useless' for Trump to Fire Mueller

Claudine Rigal
Juin 19, 2017

A senior political writer for the newspaper sounded the alarm in a piece titled, "Is Robert Mueller Conflicted in Trump Probe?" Comey told the intelligence committee that, after an encounter with President Trump in which he said Trump pressured him to back off an investigation into the former national security adviser, Comey implored Sessions to make sure he was never left alone with the president again - but Sessions didn't respond.

The effort to muddy the waters surrounding the investigation is coming amid growing White House concern that the probe could detract from the president's agenda for months or years to come.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the USA and declared it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest he was aware of or took part in any collusion between Russian Federation and the election campaign that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

That would be the only explanation for firing Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who is widely respected by Republicans and Democrats alike.

"The attorney general is the one who has to fire him", said CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on "Anderson Cooper 360". That appeared to include Gingrich, who until recently expressed support for Mueller's appointment on the grounds that it would alleviate pressure in the Russian Federation affair. Newt Gingrich, who is close to Trump, tweeted: "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".

Rosenstein said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify.

If he does, Congress would simply re-appoint him Schiff said in a tweet.

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.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mr Mueller, declined to comment on Mr Ruddy's remarks.

Chris Ruddy, who visited the White House on Monday, said in a television interview afterward that the president is "considering perhaps terminating the special counsel".

Ruddy originally shared his belief with PBS' Judy Woodruff on "PBS NewsHour" Monday after visiting the White House earlier.

"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", Ryan told conservative commentator Guy Benson. Trump allies will say it's another media-generated firestorm to sabotage their man, but the real reason is that with Trump, anything is possible. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. "I personally think it would be a very significant mistake even though I don't think there is a justification (for a special counsel)".

Technically, it's up to the attorney general to decide what to do with the special counsel.

Ahead of the hearing there had been suggestions that Sessions might have had a third, unreported encounter with Kislyak in April 2016, at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, where candidate Trump was giving his first major foreign policy speech.

Why would Trump consider firing Mueller?

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".

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