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prensaestatal.com Julio 20, 2017


Trump Weighs Firing Mueller, According To Confidant

19 Junio 2017, 11:07 | Crisanna Felipe

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says that a history of political giving is not a disqualifier for those who work for the Department of Justice's special counsel investigating Russian interference in USA elections.

Asked if he had confidence in Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to lead the Russian Federation investigation, Mr Sessions replied: "I have confidence in Mr Mueller but I am not going to discuss any hypotheticals", noting that he was not involved in the Russian Federation investigation.

A close associate of Trump told PBS NewsHour on June 13 that Trump was considering firing Mueller one month after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, who previously headed the Russian Federation investigation.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "Chris speaks for himself".

That decision would fall to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who testified Tuesday in a Senate budget hearing that he would only fire Mueller for good cause and has seen no evidence of that.

"Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue", Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement hours later. But the president and his aides have not definitively said so. "Former Speaker-if you want to see the President on a fast track to impeachment, then he should take this advice and fire Mueller".

He told a Senate panel Tuesday that he, and not Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had the authority to terminate Mueller.

The deputy attorney general's testimony comes after Trump friend and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy said Monday that Trump was considering "terminating" the special counsel who is overseeing the Justice Department's wide-ranging inquiry into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. He further assured senators Mueller has been given complete independence to carry out the task.

Rosenstein says the attorney general would be the only one who could fire Mueller.

In the letter Trump sent to Comey informing him that he was being fired, the president wrote that he had received memos from Sessions and Rosenstein "recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

The president is nonetheless angered by the investigation, which he has described as a "witch hunt", The New York Times reported. Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel about a week later.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week", Sekulow said that while the idea has not been brought up in the White House, Trump had not ruled out firing Mueller.

"No, I have not", he said. "I have confidence in Bob Mueller".

Spicer did not outright discount the notion of removing the special counsel, but he noted Ruddy was not a spokesman for Trump.

Elliott Hamilton, writing for The Daily Wire on June 12, said that "given all of this information, it would obligate Mueller to recuse himself from issues surrounding his friend and former colleague".

Lawmakers also asked Rosenstein whether it was appropriate for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be involved in the firing of FBI Director James Comey given Sessions' recusal from the Clinton email investigation, which he offered because of his role on the Trump campaign.

"I'm not saying this investigation isn't important", said Ryan. That, to me, is the smartest thing to do, the best thing to do, and that's what I think hopefully will happen. However, appointing an independent counsel would require Congress to re-instate the independent counsel statute, something that would require extensive support from Republicans to pass through Congress, especially if Trump vetoed it.

The Justice Department declined CBS News' request for comment.



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