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GOP congressman who defended Trump during Mueller hearing is up for administration job

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Posted at 10:53 AM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 11:53:03-04

A Republican congressman who used much of his allotted questioning time during former special counsel Robert Mueller's congressional hearing on Wednesday to defend President Donald Trump has been under consideration for a job within the administration, sources tell CNN.

"I agree with the chairman, this morning, when he said Donald Trump is not above the law. He's not. But he damn sure shouldn't be below the law, which is where volume two of this report puts him," Rep. John Ratcliffe said of Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Texas Republican's statement was one of several from Trump's Republican allies on the Hill, who have questioned Mueller's handling of the investigation and his credibility.

Ratcliffe, who has served in Congress since 2015, argued during Mueller's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee that in the second volume of the report, Mueller offered "extra-prosecutorial analysis about crimes that weren't charged" and accused the former special counsel of breaking Justice Department regulations by doing so.

Ratcliffe has been under consideration for a job within the Trump administration, sources told CNN, including an intelligence or national security role. The congressman speaks with the President often, and Trump is a big fan of his, the sources said.

The congressman's name was floated last year as a possible replacement for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was eventually succeeded by William Barr.

Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor, has been critical of the way the Democrats on the committee have approached Mueller's investigation after it ended, arguing in April against the panel authoring a subpoena for an underacted version of the report.

"Let Bob Mueller come, and let's ask Bob Mueller to come and whether or not he thinks the report he created should be disclosed without considerations of redactions for classified national security information, or without redactions for grand jury information or other information related to ongoing investigations," he said at the time.