June 28, 2017

Amid adulation from loyalists, talk of Trump firing Special Counsel

18 June 2017, 05:05 | Grady King

Friend says Trump is considering 'terminating' Mueller

Are Trump & Republicans Considering Firing Robert Mueller? It Appears So!

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".

During the hearing, Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation.

As special counsel Robert Mueller builds his legal team, Mr Trump's allies have begun raising questions about the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's impartiality, implying he can not be trusted to lead the probe.

Under current Justice Department regulations, such a firing would have to be done by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' deputy, Rod Rosenstein, not the president- though those regulations could theoretically be set aside. At issue for Newt is the review of donor records of those being hired to assist Bob Mueller in his, ahem, investigation.

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

This was followed by a tweet from conservative radio host, Laura Ingraham, who shared an article entitled: "Byron York: Is Robert Mueller conflicted in Trump probe?".

The White House, however, said Trump and Ruddy have never discussed the issue.

In response, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee said Tuesday that Congress would not sit still if Trump chose to fire the special counsel.

On Friday afternoon the National Law Journal reported that the deputy solicitor general, a criminal-law expert who has argued more than 100 cases before the US Supreme Court, would be joining the special counsel team on a part-time basis.

One of Mr Trump's personal lawyers, Jay Sekulow, demurred when asked on Sunday if the president could fire Mr Mueller. "Why do we need a special counsel now?"

The possibility that Trump might at some point want to fire Mueller has to be viewed quite seriously.

The Trump confidant told TheDC that this wording from Ruddy is clearly an attempt to convince the president that firing Mueller would be a poor decision. She said the counsel was now pointless, as it's become clear Trump wasn't an initial target of the Russian Federation investigation, which may now be expanding into new areas. The next day, Comey said Trump summoned him to dinner to ask for his loyalty.

Then again, Mr Comey's sacking was equally unexpected and Mr Trump's unconvincing explanations afterward about why he was sacked suggest anything is possible.

"I think it would be odd that he would have a confidential conversation and then a few days later become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating", Mr Ruddy told PBS NewsHour.

RUDDY: I already said I'm not going to reveal who my sources are, but that I felt confident in saying it.

Mueller's firing would not only short-circuit the FBI investigation of the Trump entourage, it would hobble any effort to impeach the president.

But Ruddy continued to double, triple and quadruple down Tuesday morning.

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