Trump fans want Federal Bureau of Investigation director Mueller axed

Claudine Rigal
Июня 19, 2017

Sam Nunberg, who worked for Trump's presidential campaign, said it "could seem to be a conflict" for Mueller to first interview with the president to be a possible replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey and then days later to be named as the special counsel heading an investigation that could look into Comey's firing.

"Look who he is hiring". It was unclear whether his tweet about being under investigation was based on direct knowledge or new media reports that suggest Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey. There's no reason to fire Mueller. The decision to fire the special counsel would rest with him alone, he said, despite conjecture that Trump could fire him if he did not acquiesce to orders, or repeal the regulations that govern the appointment and fire Mueller himself.

The former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a long-time supporter of Mr. Trump's, said in a tweet on Monday that it was time to "rethink" Mr. Mueller's ability to be fair. So while Trump may no have been personally under investigation before, things have changed.

The piece in the Washington Examiner points out his years-long friendship with a key witness, whose testimony will be especially important if the probe morphs into an obstruction-of-justice investigation into the president. The interview took place several days before Rosenstein picked Mueller as special counsel for the Russian Federation probe, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the interview, which was first reported by PBS.

In every practical sense, Trump is stuck with Mueller.

Under current Justice Department regulations, firing Mueller would have to be done by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' deputy, Rosenstein, not the president- though those regulations could theoretically be set aside. He later noted that it was up to Mueller to determine whether the issue might be part of his investigation, adding he thought Mueller "ought to review that".

Third, he said, Rosenstein could also re-define the scope and powers of the investigation. Ruddy said Tuesday that he stands by his comments.

"First, most simply, Trump could order Mueller fired", Katyal said. If Rosenstein refused, Trump could fire him and continue down the line until a DOJ official acquiesced.

It's hard to say how much credibility should be attached to Christopher Ruddy's remark on PBS and later on CNN.

Just weeks ago, Gingrich had heaped praise on Mueller, hailing him as a "superb choice" for special counsel whose reputation was "impeccable for honesty and integrity". And yet when asked by George Stephanopoulos on ABC News' This Week whether the president would promise not to interfere with the special counsel probe, his lawyer Jay Sekulow offered no such guarantee - feeding speculation about what Trump might do.

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