nsucurrent.com May 20, 2018

Trump Confidant: Ruddy Hurt Trump's Ability To Fire Mueller

18 June 2017, 01:30 | Colleen Roy

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.

"I think he is considering perhaps terminating the special counsel", Ruddy, who leads the conservative news website Newsmax, said on PBS NewsHour.

The news comes one day after Rosenstein affirmed his support for the special counsel, despite recent reports that Trump was weighing Mueller's dismissal.

Ruddy added, "I personally think it would be a very significant mistake".

The speaker listed the policy issues that congressional Republicans were focused on like a bill on the House floor this week to improve accountability for veterans' health care, telling reporters, "We are focused on solving people's problems". Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from anything related to the 2016 election, that authority would fall on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is standing behind Mueller.

Gingrich, though, ominously predicted that Mueller's team will "find some poor person like Scooter Libby", who Gingrich said "did nothing wrong" during the Valerie Plame investigation but "ended up going to jail" when the independent counsel tried to flip him to get to Vice President Dick Cheney. "I think the best thing to do is to let Robert Mueller do his job". A special counsel is much harder to fire.

Hours after the interview, White House press secretary Sean Spicer released a statement that did not deny the claim, but said, firmly yet evasively, "Mr Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue".

Ruddy, an early donor to Trump's presidential campaign, was reportedly at the White House on Monday.

During a hearing on Tuesday before a joint House and Senate appropriations subcommittee, Rosenstein was asked whether he had seen any evidence of that.

"I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel", the former House speaker said.

"The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies".

Ruddy called out what he described as "conflicts" surrounding Mueller's law firm, WilmerHale, which has represented Trump's former campaign manager and members of the Trump family.

Asked about Trump's own contention that the president fired Comey with the Russian Federation probe in mind, and regardless of any recommendation from anyone else, Sessions said: "I guess I'll just have to let his words speak for themselves". Doubt, however, has been cast on that explanation because of cryptic testimony from former FBI Director James Comey last week. The president responded by saying Comey did not tell the truth. Mr Mueller's moves, however, indicate he does not share Mr Trump's view.

Ryan noted if Trump made a decision to fire Mueller, it would be a "big problem for him politically".

For many, the prospect of Mueller's firing immediately brought to mind the 1973 dismissal of special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.

A number of key Republicans have publicly advised Trump to keep Mueller.

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