Appearing on CNN Friday morning, a former federal prosecutor took the long view on what it would take for President Donald Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and sarcastically wished the president, “good luck with that.”
Speaking with Michael Zeldin, who previously served with Mueller, CNN host John Harwood pressed the attorney on reports that Trump aides were attempting to dig up dirt on Mueller.
“This notion of trying to discredit the special counsel investigation, we hear. This is something that happens in prosecutions, you do go after the other person’s team,” Harwood asked. “How far could the White House and his lawyers take this here? Is it difficult if the president wants to get rid of Robert Mueller?”
“Well, there are a couple of questions that are embedded in that question,” Zeldin explained. “First is: is it normative to look at your prosecutor to see whether your prosecutor has a bias that could lead to his recusal, if you will? And, yes, that’s normative, and I think they’re going to do what they can do.”
“My legal response to that is good luck with that,” he sardonically added. “Because I don’t think that there’s going to be anything found there that’s going to create a legal conflict of interest that would allow for the removal of Mueller himself and perhaps any of his team members. Secondly, with respect to the removal of Mueller, the only person that can remove Mueller under the regulations that govern this is [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein. And Rosenstein’s basis under the regulations for removal of Mueller is good cause and that there is not going to be good cause found in this fishing expedition into his background.”
“I mean, he’s a Republican and he doesn’t have any political orientation in the way he investigates crime, so I don’t think it’s going to amount to anything,” Zeldin continued. “Rosenstein has said in his public testimony that he will resign before he fires Mueller without there being a good cause showing. So I think this is a lot of bluster and maybe it has some political resonance. I don’t do politics, just law. The others can talk about that, but I don’t think in the end of the day it’s going to amount to anything.”
Watch the video below via CNN: