The deputy attorney general is speaking out in response to rumors that President Trump is considering firing Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Reports have surfaced in the last 24 hours that the president may fire the head of the independent investigation into possible collusion by members of the Trump with Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared before the Senate Appropriations Justice, Science and Related Agencies subcommittee after Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly cancelled a planned appearance. Rosenstein, who hired Mueller after Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, was asked by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), “Have you seen good cause for firing Mueller?”
“I have not,” Rosenstein answered according to reports in The New York Times. “You have my assurance that we are going to faithfully follow that regulation, and Director Mueller is going to have the full independence he needs to conduct that investigation.”
Shaheen pointed out that under the law creating the special counsel position, the president cannot fire Mueller. Only the attorney general, in this case Rosenstein since Sessions has recused himself, can fire the special counsel and only for good cause.
“I’m not going to follow any orders unless I believe that those are lawful and appropriate orders,” Mr. Rosenstein said, adding: “If there were good cause, I would consider. If there were not good cause, it would not matter what anybody says.”
There was no indication why Attorney General Sessions sent Rosenstein to testify in his place.