US President, Donald Trump, has lots of friends that he labels as “close.” Just recently, one of them said that the President is currently considering the idea of “terminating” Robert Mueller III, a special counsel. Because of said statement, the speculation is that Pres. Trump will intensely resist further questioning regarding the Russia investigation.
Conservative website Newsmax’s Chief Executive, Christopher Ruddy, said that Trump is weighing such an option. Ruddy was interviewed by PBS last Monday and he said he thinks the fact is clear especially by what a lawyer had said on television a few days back.
“For me, I know that it would be a mistake. I also know that there will be consequences if Pres. Trump actually fires Mueller,” said Ruddy.
Ruddy’s mention of a lawyer is a reference to Attorney Jay Sekulow, who appeared on one of the news programs on ABC last Sunday. Sekulow implied that the President is definitely thinking of firing Mueller.
Only weeks ago, Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, appointed Mueller to spearhead the investigation of the FBI into the election interference of Russia. The investigation also included the possible collusion of Moscow through the campaign associates of Pres. Trump.
Former government officials, members of Congress, and legal experts reacted swiftly as soon as they learned of Trump’s plan. They all have the same message: Do not do it.
A constitutional law professor at Savannah Law School, Andrew Wright, said that firing Robert Mueller will have a bigger impact then to the firing of Jim Comey, former FBI director.
Sen. Lindsey Graham released a statement: “It would be one hell of a disaster. There is no apparent reason to fire Bob Mueller. What has he done that can be considered as a legal reason for him to be fired?”
“If the President fires Bob Mueller, then the Congress will immediately establish an independent counsel to appoint Bob Mueller. Do not try to waste our time,” tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat.
It is still not clear whether the President has legal authority in firing the special prosecutor. As per regulations of the Justice Department, a special counsel may be fired “for cause” by an attorney general.
Sen. Kamala Harris asked Rosenstein whether Mueller could be fired. In response, he said that it is not possible for the President to do so directly. However, Pres. Trump may order the attorney general to terminate Mueller. It is still unclear what would happen in the event that Rosenstein refuses to agree.
Ruddy has been a friend of Trump for quite a long time and he consults with the President. However, both did not speak when Ruddy visited the White House just this week. Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, said that Ruddy was not able to speak to Trump about the issue. “Regarding the subject, the President and his attorneys are the only ones who are given the authorization to comment.”
As for Ruddy, he said that Mueller was approached by Trump after the firing of James B. Comey.