One GOP member of Congress warned Monday night that if President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller, it would "paralyze" the legislative branch.
Fox News White House correspondent Chad Pergram tweeted that Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) said the potential firing "would be an Archibald Cox moment," referencing President Richard Nixon firing his special counsel and instigating the resignations of two top cabinet members.
"Can you say Saturday Night Massacre?" Dent asked Pergram rhetorically, referencing the post-Watergate episode. "It would paralyze this institution. We would then do nothing else."
GOP PA Rep Dent on if Trump would fire Mueller: Can you say Saturday Night Massacre? It would be an Archibald Cox m… https://t.co/ci3IpVrvdw— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram)1521505299.0
Dent also reportedly told the Fox News correspondent that he'd support legislation to protect Mueller — but that doing so could be a "poison pill."
Dent says he supports putting a provision in the omnibus to protect Mueller, but says that could be a poison pill.— Chad Pergram (@Chad Pergram)1521505319.0
Dent has in recent weeks been a staunch critic of Trump's personnel choices. During a CNN interview last Tuesday, the Pennsylvania congressman blasted the president for making the "deplorable" decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via tweet — a move he credited for swaying the state's special congressional election in favor of Democrat Conor Lamb.
Over the weekend, Dent also criticized the Trump Justice Department's decision to fire former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe just a day before he became eligible for his pension.
"This firing looks a bit forced, a bit rushed. Candidly, it looks like retribution and a bit vindictive," Dent said on CNN. "And I think it's unfortunate. The man said he's resigning, you know, and on a Friday night before his 50th birthday he's fired to take away his pension? I don't like the optics of this, I really don't."
Dent, who earlier in March called out the president's "crony capitalism," announced last fall that he is not seeking re-election. He cited people within the Republican Party who "profit from polarization" and those who "love dysfunction" as his reasons for calling it quits after a nearly 30-year career in public service.