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No longer out of bounds: Trump allies question Mueller probe

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee says Congress would not sit still if President Donald Trump chose to fire the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian interference in the US election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign. "I know Bob Mueller, and I have confidence in Bob Mueller", Ryan said.

Under current Justice Department regulations, firing Mueller would have to be done by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, not the president- though those regulations could theoretically be set aside.

Those calls have escalated since fired FBI Director Comey cryptically told lawmakers last week that the bureau had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did from the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein is charged with Mueller's fate because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation.

Both Fleischer and Gingrich had previously vouched for the character and integrity of Mueller, who was appointed Federal Bureau of Investigation director by Bush and whose term was extended an extra two years by Democratic President Barack Obama.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, says such a move would "be the last straw" for many in Congress and would have "echoes of Watergate", when President Richard Nixon dismissed special prosecutor Archibald Cox over Cox's subpoenas for White House tapes.

Matt Lewis, a CNN political commentator, said Trump has a pattern of surprise moves, such as the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

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During his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey said Sessions may have met for a third, undisclosed time, with Kislyak, but Gingrich said there is doubt about that assertion. Several Trump critics noted that Gingrich previously had tweeted that Mueller was a "superb choice to be special counsel" and that his reputation was "impeccable for honesty and integrity".

"Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society", Sanders said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

"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.

While the White House denied that Trump had any intention to fire Mueller, the New York Times reported Tuesday night that the president had begun entertaining the idea of firing Mueller last month.

Ruddy told PBS he thinks firing Mueller "would be a very significant mistake, even though I don't think there's a justification. for a special counsel". The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Trump friend Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, has gone so far as to suggest the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on the issues Gingrich and others have raised.

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