Trump has 'no intention' of firing special counsel Mueller: White House

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Comey testified that he believed the revelations in his memos - including concern that Trump sought to influence the FBI's Russian Federation investigation - would prompt the appointment of a special counsel.

Rosenstein was testifying in place of Sessions, who over the weekend canceled his own appearance before the committee and instead agreed to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Schiff told CNN's Anderson Cooper if Mueller was ousted, Congress would have to re-establish the Independent Counsel Act that expired following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. "You have my assurance that we are faithfully going to follow that regulation, and Director Mueller is going to have the independence he needs".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein offered assurances to lawmakers on Tuesday that he is exclusively responsible for Mueller's fate since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

If Mr Trump instructs Mr Rosenstein to dump Mr Mueller, it would evoke memories of 1973, when two top Justice Department officials, Mr Elliott Richardson and Mr Bill Ruckelshaus, resigned rather than obey then President Richard Nixon's order to fire Mr Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor conducting the Watergate investigation.

Asked about it on ABC this weekend, Jay Sekulow said that if there were a serious basis for it, the president would be allowed: "Whether he would do it is ultimately a decision the president makes".

Rosenstein is charged with Mueller's fate because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation.

Rosenstein said he is the individual who now has the authority to hire or fire Mueller after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation into Russia amid questions about his contacts with Russian officials during the President Donald Trump's campaign.

Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich praised Robert Mueller when he was appointed special counsel but has since changed his opinion.

Still, it took until Tuesday night for the White House to actually dispute Ruddy's suspicion. He added: "I think he's weighing that option".

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. "I personally think it would be a very significant mistake - even though I dont think there's a justification. for a special counsel in this case", Ruddy said.

Rep. Mark Walker said Mueller is broadly respected by both Republicans and Democrats, although he noted that the respect isn't set in stone.

"The president did talk with him in the days before he was named special counsel".

But a source close to the President said Trump is being counseled to steer clear of such a dramatic move like firing the special counsel.

"Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive".

Point (2) apparently will turn on assessment of Comey's view that the president's request was really a direction to go easy on Flynn. Still, he added, "I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise". Ruddy did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification. But Ruddy may be floating the idea only to get it shot down; "Chris speaks for himself", said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

The U.S. attorney general has the authority to remove a special counsel for "misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies".