White House torn over Mueller's role as pressure grows

Geneva Matthews
June 19, 2017

Speculation about whether Mueller would be removed was sparked on Monday after a friend of the president, Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media, said during an interview on PBS NewsHour that he thought Trump is "considering perhaps terminating the special counsel".

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. "I have confidence in Bob Mueller". The question is substantial enough that, now that it's clear how central Comey's role in such a claim is, Trump would be justified in firing Mueller.

Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller", Schiff tweeted Monday night.

In an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said he didn't want to speculate on whether or not the president would fire Mueller. Trump ally Newt Gingrich has been calling for Mueller's removal, tweeting on Monday that "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face a range of questions about the firing of FBI Director James Comey and his contacts with Russian officials in a public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 13.

"While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so", Sanders told reporters flying with Trump back to Washington from a day trip to Wisconsin. The move came on the heels of word that Trump had asked Comey in February to jettison the bureau's investigation into Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump could alternatively direct the Justice Department to repeal the regulation, potentially allowing the president to directly fire a special counsel. Mr Ruddy said Mr Mueller has some "conflicts" because his former law firm, Wilmer Hale, also representing Ms Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter, and her husband, Mr Jared Kushner.

As David Frum said the other day, if he fires Mueller he might as well write "I'm guilty as hell" in big letters in the sky. A year ago, it would have seemed inconceivable for a president to fire his FBI Director, and yet that's exactly what Trump did.

White House correspondent April Ryan, of American Urban Radio Networks, went on CNN on Monday night and told host Erin Burnett that there is "mass hysteria" in the White House over the possibility of firing the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director. Ruddy, however, did not meet with the president that evening as their meeting was postponed, NBC News reported. Despite Republican control of both houses, it doesn't take too many to side with the Democrats to make that a realistic scenario. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was put in charge of the Russian Federation probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, made the announcement May 18. "If there were not good cause, it would not matter to me what anybody said", he said. Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior declined to comment on the possibility of Trump seeking to remove Mueller.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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