The Washington Post reports: Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein testified Tuesday that if the president ordered him to fire the special counsel handling the Russia investigation, he would only comply if the request was “lawful and appropriate.”
Rosenstein was answering questions from the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding comments Monday from Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media and a friend of Donald Trump, that Trump might fire Robert S. Mueller III. Mueller was recently appointed to lead the investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Rosenstein, who has been on the job for six weeks, said only he could fire Mueller, and only if he found good cause to do so. He described Mueller as operating independently from the Justice Department in his investigation.
Asked what he would do if the president ordered him to fire Mueller, Rosenstein said, “I’m not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders.” He added later: “As long as I’m in this position, he’s not going to be fired without good cause,” which he said he would have to put in writing. [Continue reading…]