Rosenstein knew Comey would be fired

In 1973 President Richard Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor who was leading the Watergate investigation.

Chris Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media and a longtime confidant of Trump, said it was "amateur hour" at the White House and blasted press secretary Sean Spicer.

But Stephen Gillers, a New York University professor who specializes in legal and judicial ethics, said the Mueller interview with Trump presented "no conflict whatsoever". A senior White House official confirmed that the president had interviewed Mueller for the FBI post in the Oval Office the day before Rosenstein tapped him to be the special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation.

A White House official stressed that Ruddy "speaks for himself", not the Trump administration.

Constitutional lawyer, Robert Barnes says, "the law is clear", Robert Mueller must recuse himself from any "Comey-part" of his special counsel investigation.

Democrats, reacting to the chatter, said that if Trump fired Mueller they'd try to enact an independent counsel statute so they could appoint him. They did not explain how they would push that idea through a Republican Congress.

As Mueller builds his legal team, Trump's allies have begun raising questions about the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's impartiality, suggesting he can not be trusted to lead the probe. That showed that Trump is not one to be impeded by political protocol - Comey's 10-year term wasn't set to expire until 2023. "And there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself - and the Russians, zero", Trump responded. National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, both declined to discuss their own Trump communications during a hearing last week.

Speculation continued unabated and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who appointed the counsel, was asked about it at a Senate hearing on Tuesday morning.

Rosenstein would probably refuse.

It then would get complicated.

Rosenstein said Trump has not discussed the special counsel with him.

Ryan, R-Wis., said Trump should not fire Mueller.

Lawmakers also asked Rosenstein whether it was appropriate for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be involved in the firing of James Comey as FBI director given Sessions' recusal from any investigation into Trump's campaign. It seems questionable that she would put her reputation at risk by going along with such a directive.

The department would not comment on the record on whether Trump, who has repeatedly complained about leaks on the case, requested the statement. But the counter-pressure would also be strong.

"It is the House Judiciary Committee that should be the venue for the President to defend himself against the serious allegations of official misconduct, including but not limited to apparent attempts at obstruction of justice in the removal of Mr. Comey in order to relieve the "pressure" the President was feeling from investigations related to his campaign's ties to Russian meddling in America's most recent presidential election".

Top House GOP leaders appeared frustrated at the news conference about the multiple questions about Mueller's probe and what might happen if he were forced out of his position.

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