Rosenstein Says He Wouldn't Fire Mueller Unless 'Lawful and Appropriate'

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[Al] Franken [D-Minn.]. I want to know why, if he was recused from the Russian Federation investigation, he played any role in the dismissal of FBI Director Comey. Grassley's office said the letter is in response to a recent letter from Feinstein requesting that the committee seek details from senior Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership about Comey's interactions with President Donald Trump before he was sacked. "I think it is", Ruddy said.

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel; I think he's weighing that option", Ruddy told NewsHour's Judy Woodruff.

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any Russia-related investigations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would then have the authority to remove Mueller.

Trump, we know now, repeatedly asked then-FBI Director James Comey whether he, personally, was under investigation. Still other voices on the far right have chimed in to suggest that Trump should dismiss Mueller - including Newt Gingrich, who only last month praised his appointment.

"The president's friends are now pressing the argument that Mueller must go, too".

Yet it's a line of thinking that is making its way to the president's ears.

Grassley on Tuesday stopped short of ruling out establishing a congressional investigation into the question of whether Trump obstructed justice. Gingrich, who only a few weeks ago called Mueller a "superb choice" with an "impeccable" reputation, tweeted on Monday: "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".

Rosenstein may be asked to address the issue when he speaks at a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday morning.

Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump's private legal team, said Sunday on ABC News' "This Week" that Trump will address the existence of any recordings in the coming week.

Both Gingrich and Ken Starr were closely involved in the investigation and impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

Comey told the intelligence panel last week that Trump fired him to undermine the bureau's Russian Federation probe. Now, the probe has set its sights on the man at the top of the pyramid: President Trump himself. In July 1974, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Nixon had to turn over tape recordings of his conversations, and the next month, facing nearly certain impeachment, Nixon resigned.

In a February meeting, Comey said, Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation. Comey said 'I deliberately leaked through an intermediary to create this counsel.

"I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel", the former House speaker said.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday night to reporters that Mr. Trump interviewed Mueller "I believe the day before he was made special counsel". And Rosenstein said Mueller could not be fired without his personal assent.

"Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately", Rosenstein said.

Comey also testified he had told Trump he was not under investigation.