Robert Mueller, the newly appointed Special Counsel, has jurisdiction, which includes the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; and to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted, to empanel a standing grand jury, (which is already in place), and bring in their own staff, and is appointed in the public’s interest.
“Public’s interest” being the key words. Since this is a counter intelligence investigation it will take time for Mueller to get up to speed, so we all need to be patient. If criminal wrongdoing has been identified, then he will have the authority to prosecute those individuals as previously mentioned.
After serving 12 years under both President G.W. Bush and President Obama, as FBI Director. I think this is a strong selection. He is a fair jurist and capable lawyer who has served with impartiality and honor in the Bureau. But Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein needs to stay out of the way or recuse himself as well. And all the Congressional Investigations need to go forth with special counsels as well. They need to get to the very core of what transpired and who played a part in it.
The law does not include the President having the authority to remove or fire the Special Counsel in subtitle § 600.7 Conduct and accountability, section (d) of the law.
Can the Special Counsel be removed or fired though? Yes, under Department of Justice regulation 28 CFR part 600 (see link below), the Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal. However, the current special counsel regulations were promulgated by the Justice Department and have no underlying statutory basis. Thus their force to constrain the attorney general is uncertain.
Since Attorney General Jefferson Sessions has ‘supposedly’ recused himself from anything involving Russia, that responsibility and authority falls to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In section (b) The Special Counsel shall not be subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the Department. However, the Attorney General may request that the Special Counsel provide an explanation for any investigative or prosecutorial step, and may after review conclude that the action is so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued. In conducting that review, the Attorney General will give great weight to the views of the Special Counsel. If the Attorney General concludes that a proposed action by a Special Counsel should not be pursued, the Attorney General shall notify Congress as specified in § 600.9(a)(3).
The Office of Special Counsel is an office of the United States Department of Justice. It assumed the functions of the former Office of the Independent Counsel in 1999 (under Department of Justice regulation 28 CFR Part 600).