Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Tuesday said he would not obey if President Donald Trump ordered him to fire the special counsel overseeing the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election unless there was “good cause.”
“I’m not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders,” Rosenstein testified before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.
He said Trump had not talked to him about former FBI director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.
“Under the regulation, Special Counsel Mueller may be fired only for good cause and I am required to put that cause in writing. And so that’s what I would do,” Rosenstein said. “If there were good cause I would consider it. If there were not good cause it wouldn’t matter to me what anybody says.”
Rosenstein said that, thus far, he has seen no evidence of good cause for Mueller’s termination.
Trump’s friend Chris Ruddy on Monday evening said the President was “considering perhaps terminating” Mueller as special counsel.
The White House distanced Trump from Ruddy, but did not deny that Trump has floated the possibility of firing Mueller.