Members of President Donald Trump's administration have not discussed firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the face of growing conservative backlash against his probe into the president's connections to Russia, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said Sunday. Trump has repeatedly denied accusations of collusion with Russia, though Mueller's investigation has found strong evidence of Russian meddling during the campaign and produced four criminal cases.
The Trump team are none too pleased about the special counsel obtaining emails from the transition.
Kory Langhofer, general counsel for the Trump transition group, wrote in a letter to senior Republican officials that the disclosure by the General Services Administration was "unauthorised" - as he does not consider the private and privileged documents to be government property.
Langhofer also accused GSA officials of giving Mueller "tens of thousands of emails" without giving the transition "any notice". White House attorney Ty Cobb on Saturday declined comment about the transition team's specific complaint, but he insisted to POLITICO that an ouster of Mueller isn't in the offing. Spokespeople for GSA didn't immediately respond to AP's emailed requests for comment.
The special counsel's critics have seized upon the case of Peter Strzok, a senior Federal Bureau of Investigation agent whom Mueller removed from his team for sending text messages critical of Trump.
GSA Deputy Counsel Lenny Loewentritt, who Langhofer blames along with other GSA career staff for providing the transition documents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told Buzzfeed that Beckler didn't make a commitment to the transition team that requests from law enforcement for materials would be routed through transition lawyers. Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, said in a radio interview on Friday that the "rumor" sweeping the Capitol was that Trump plans to fire Mueller on December 22.More news: Real Madrid set team record with Club World Cup triumph
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I have to say that there would be something flawless about this - a special counsel investigating, in part, the circumstances that led to his appointment would be fired, perhaps leading to an impeachment about the circumstances of his ouster.
If Trump knows he has something to hide that's potentially impeachable, he should probably - putting ethics and the truth aside - fire Mueller and try to out-run the law. He did not name the transition officials who used the devices.
Momentum is building for the idea of firing Robert Mueller.
The special counsel - on the clock since mid-May, though he did inherit more than a year's worth of FBI investigations related to the election hacking and other lines of inquiry - has already obtained a guilty plea and cooperation from former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"I'm increasingly anxious Republicans will shut down the House intelligence committee investigation at the end of the month", Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House intelligence committee said prior to reports of the letter this weekend.
"Our Committee has direct jurisdiction over the Presidential Transition Act, and it simply does not support withholding transition team emails from criminal investigators", Cummings said.