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Paul Ryan: 'Let Robert Mueller Do His Job'
19 June 2017, 01:47 | Guillermo Sutton
Newt Gingrich, Conservative Pundits Turn On Special Counsel Mueller
Ruddy later clarified to ABC News that Trump is "considering asking [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein to terminate Mueller".
Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy stood by his claims after the White House downplayed his comments and suggested he did not know what he was talking about.
There was grumbling among some members of Congress. Rep. Kevin Cramer said he believed Mueller's investigation should be dissolved because there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump administration and Russian Federation. Republicans and Democrats alike are calling for this investigation, for the process to continue.
It wasn't clear whether Ruddy, who speaks with the president often, was basing his remarks on a specific conversation with the president or entirely on Sekulow's comments. And leading Republican legislators on Tuesday waved off the idea of firing Mueller, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying that his advice was to "let Robert Mueller do his job" and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voicing confidence in the special counsel. He added that fundraising records show some of the lawyers whom Mueller selected for his team have contributed to Democrats.
At least of Mueller's special counsel team have donated to Democratic presidential campaigns and organizations. In general, it is impermissible to ask prospective government hires about their political leanings, including whether they've made donations.
Just weeks ago, Gingrich had heaped praise on Mueller, hailing him as a "superb choice" for special counsel whose reputation was "impeccable for honesty and integrity". "I can't imagine that anyone in the White House is seriously discussing that". Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Rosenstein what he would do if the president asked him to fire Mueller.
"At the same time, after Trump's firing of FBI Director James B. Comey this month, many things once thought beyond the realm of possibility look less so now", Katyal said.
In 1973, amid the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
Trump, however, referred to the Post's reporting as a "phony story" in a Thursday morning tweet.
(Melania also reportedly told her husband "she believed the appointment of Mr. Mueller would speed resolution of the Russian Federation scandal", resulting in his exoneration.) "The pushback also represented growing willingness among staff members to try to keep Mr. Trump from making damaging mistakes", the Times reports, "an important internal change in a White House dominated by a president who often demands obeisance". "Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue", Spicer said.
The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he could not elaborate on. Trump was especially outraged by Comey's admission last week that he had leaked a memo with details of his interactions with the president in hopes of spurring the appointment of a special counsel. She then swiftly tried to back up the claims about Trump with the opinion of someone else who had hammered Mueller.
"As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without good cause", Rosenstein said.
Rosenstein was testifying hours ahead of a separate Senate appearance by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was expected to face sharp questions from his former colleagues about his role in Comey's firing, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to step aside from the investigation involving Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Gingrich and Ruddy said it would be a "mistake" for Trump to remove Mueller, although both said they see the probe as unnecessary. "If there were not good cause it wouldn't matter what anyone said".
"First, most simply, Trump could order Mueller fired", Katyal said.
If questions arise about what matters Sessions should stay away from, he said, a career official in Rosenstein's office is consulted.
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