Deputy attorney general says no cause to fire Mueller

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Wednesday that he has seen no good cause to fire Robert Mueller from his role as special counsel in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Rosenstein faced tough questions from Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday amid revelations that FBI officials on Mueller’s team had exhibited political bias. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE’s allies have seized on the reports to discredit the investigation. 

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Rosenstein on Wednesday defended the special counsel, telling ranking member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) that he has seen no good cause to fire Mueller. 

The deputy attorney general, who is overseeing the Russia probe after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says he was interviewed by Mueller CNN hires former DOJ spokesperson under Sessions as editor on 2020 campaign MORE recused himself, told lawmakers that Mueller had taken the appropriate action by firing an FBI agent on the investigation over anti-Trump text messages he had sent to a colleague during the campaign. 

“Have you seen good cause to fire special counsel Mueller?” Nadler asked Rosenstein. 

“No,” Rosenstein replied.

Later, when asked what he would do if he were directed to fire Mueller, Rosenstein replied, “I would follow the regulation. If there were good cause, I would act. If there were no good cause, I would not.” 

The deputy attorney general then repeated that he had not seen good cause to fire Mueller.

Later, Rosenstein spoke highly of Mueller when asked to explain the characteristics that qualified him to be appointed special counsel.

“Based upon his reputation, his service, his patriotism, and his experience with the department and the FBI, I believe he was an ideal choice for this task,” Rosenstein said in response to Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Democrat vows to move forward with impeachment, dividing his party Five takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing MORE (D-Tenn.)