No longer out of bounds: Trump allies question Mueller probe

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17 June, 2017

WASHINGTON ― With talk circulating that President Donald Trump might try to fire the head of the investigation into ties between his 2016 campaign and Russia, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) offered his endorsement of special counsel Robert Mueller and recommended that Trump not interfere with the probe.

Moreover, she pointed out that Mueller's team of attorneys is anti-Trump, so how can they possibly be objective when investigating alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign?

The Wisconsin Republican commented in response to a Trump friend, Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, who suggested Monday night that the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller from his position as special counsel.

"Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair", he tweeted. "You can't exclude the possibility, but I think it's just a way of raising doubts about this very good man respected by people on both sides of the aisle".

Kellyanne Conway says Robert Mueller's close friendship with James Comey raises serious ethical questions.

However, Mueller is held in high regard by Republicans and Democrats alike, and his appointment as special counsel was looked upon favorably.

In appointing Mueller last month, Rosenstein said that the "public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command".

"It's a mistake to pretend that this is going to be some neutral investigation", Gingrich said.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, however, who would be the one doing the firing, put the rumors to bed Tuesday.

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

And since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, Rosenstein is acting in that capacity. Rosenstein would be the one to fire Mueller, which he repeatedly assured senators Tuesday he would not consider without "good cause". The attorney general is expected to be closely questioned about his contacts with Kislyak and his role in last month's firing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

"It makes sense to point out any level of bias, to highlight any biases inherent in Mueller and this probe in order to force him to be transparent", Gingrich said.

Rosenstein's letter critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation served as the Trump White House's first reasoning for firing Comey - though Trump later undercut that explanation by saying he fired Comey in hopes of ending the Russian Federation probe.

In that Tweet, Gingrich was most likely referring to the hiring of Michael Dreeben, a deputy in the Solicitor General's office who has argued over 100 Supreme Court cases over his career.

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


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