Trump's Lawyers Arguing Mueller Has Not Met Threshold to Interview the President

Xu Jinquan  Xinhua via ZUMA

Xu Jinquan Xinhua via ZUMA

Collins said she had faith in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who gained direct authority over the probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, to resist any pressure from the White House to fire Mueller.

The bill authored by Tillis and Coons would require "misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, or conflict of interest" before a special counsel could be fired, while the Graham and Booker measure would mandate a judicial process to take place before a termination.

Trump wanted to fire Mueller in June, weeks after he was appointed, the New York Times reported on January 25. A bill similar to Graham's proposal is co-sponsored by Sens.

In separate television interviews, Senators Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham expressed dismay at reports the Republican president had told the top White House lawyer to order U.S. Justice Department officials to fire Mueller.

But McCarthy said he sees no need to enact a law to prevent Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, has said he is open to considering the bills if the differences between them could be reconciled, and if supporters could address constitutional concerns that the bills would represent the legislative branch meddling in the affairs of the executive.

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"Anybody who knows Trump best knows that's a possibility". And the White House counsel is still on the job, and Mr. Mueller is still aggressively investigating. On NBC's Meet the Press, he said, "I don't think there's a need for legislation right now to protect Mueller".

Short added that Trump favors releasing a classified memo produced by the House Intelligence Committee that Republicans say alleges Federal Bureau of Investigation misconduct.

It is ultimately up to Congress to release the memo.

Trump called the story "fake news".

"I have not made any decision yet", Dowd said.

"Trump has reportedly been more and more frustrated by the DOJ's inability to do his bidding in recent months, and on one occasion last week asked why he couldn't get "[his guys]" and the "Trump Justice Department" to do what he tells them to do.

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