Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was hired by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to continue the investigation on the Russian probe into their alleged involvement in the 2016 election. US Justice Department regulations outline that a special counsel can be fired by the US attorney general "for cause".
"His answer was that he misunderstood the question", said Speaker Gingrich, and he believes that to be true.
Rosenstein is appearing before the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Department of Justice's budget because Attorney General Jeff Sessions cancelled his scheduled appearance after agreeing to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday.
In fact, the chain of command for the special counsel is only directly to the Attorney General or in this case the Acting Attorney General.
Senators on Tuesday questioned both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on how the inquiry is being handled.
"I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders", Rosenstein said.
"Director Mueller is going to have the full independence he needs to conduct that investigation, " Rosenstein said.More news: GOP's pursuit of health care overhaul comes with risks
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But after the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey last week, Gingrich said he'd changed his mind. He added, "I think the best vindication for the President is to let this investigation to go on independently and thoroughly".
As expected, Mr Sessions also addressed a claim by former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey during his testimony to the committee last week that he had expressed his concern about a meeting with Donald Trump on February 14th to the attorney general but that Mr Sessions had not replied.
Mueller has been criticized by some Republicans who suggest he may have a conflict of interest because of his close relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May.
There was grumbling among some members of Congress. Rep. Kevin Cramer said he believed Mueller's investigation should be dissolved because there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump administration and Russian Federation. "With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorised to comment".
Could the president get rid of the independent counsel leading the Russian Federation investigation?
"Mr. President we thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve you and your agenda", said White House Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus.
Ruddy, a close Trump ally, told PBS NewsHour on Monday that the president is weighing the option.
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.