Trump may 'terminate' Russian Federation probe's Mueller says president's pal

Nixon Resignation-Tapes

Firing Mueller would be a politically explosive move that would raise new questions about Trump, whose abrupt dismissal of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director generated accusations of obstruction of justice and led to Mueller's appointment.

"I think that Mueller shouldn't have taken the position", Ruddy said, "if he was under consideration and had a private conversation with the president and was privy maybe to some of his thoughts about that investigation or other matters before the bureau".

In appointing Mueller last month, Rosenstein said that the "public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command".

And deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said simply: "Chris speaks for himself".

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.

Yet the fact that Coulter, Gingrich, and other "conservatives" would contemplate this scheme tells us more about them than whether Trump could get away with such blatant corruption and lawlessness.

Democratic senators have seized on the possibility of a third meeting to suggest that Sessions has not been forthcoming about the extent of his communications with the ambassador.

Rosenstein's letter critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation served as the Trump White House's first reasoning for firing Comey - though Trump later undercut that explanation by saying he fired Comey in hopes of ending the Russian Federation probe.

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Wyden asked Sessions what problematic issues existed.

"I won't mince words, " Leahy told Rosenstein on Tuesday. There are none, Sen.

The White House dismissed Ruddy's comments - but not by saying Mueller is safe.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said on "Anderson Cooper 360" that should Trump choose to fire Mueller the job would actually fall to Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who just appointed Mueller in mid-May to take over the Russian Federation probe in the wake of Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey. "I have confidence in Mr. Mueller", he said.

Under current Justice Department regulations, firing Mueller would have to be done by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, not the president- though those regulations could theoretically be set aside.

Rosenstein's letter critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation served as the Trump White House's first reasoning for firing Comey - though Trump later undercut that explanation by saying he fired Comey in hopes of ending the Russian Federation probe. If Rosenstein refused, Trump could fire him, too - a series of events that would recall the "Saturday Night Massacre" during Watergate, when President Richard M. Nixon sought to dismiss a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox.

"It's part of a pattern", former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday in response to the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).

He added, "I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise". What is clear is that he could order the Justice Department to ax Mueller, which may result in Rosenstein's departure and would certainly intensify the uproar over the investigation. Comey's decision to announce past year that Clinton would not be prosecuted over her emails was a "usurpation" of the Justice Department's authority, Sessions said.

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