Quantcast
Connect with us

Can Donald Trump really fire special counsel Robert Mueller and get away with it?

Published

on

- Commentary

Yes, but at a huge cost to our system, and to Trump’s presidency.

Begin with the law: Justice Department regulations issued in 1999, in the wake of Kenneth Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton, say that only an Attorney General can remove a special counsel, and not just for any reason. Such a removal must be based on a finding that the special counsel was guilty of “misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation, so the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, is in charge. If Trump directed Rosenstein to fire Mueller, Rosenstein would have to find “good cause” to remove Mueller, or repeal the Department’s regulation requiring such a finding, and then fire Mueller.

If Rosenstein refused, Trump could fire Rosenstein, and direct the next official in line to fire Mueller. And he could keep firing people down the chain of command until he got someone who would fire Mueller.

Richard Nixon did something like this in what came to be known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,“ ordering Attorney General Elliott Richardson to fire the Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. When Richardson refused and resigned in protest, Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus also refused, and resigned. Nixon then ordered the Solicitor General, Robert Bork, who was then acting head of the Department, to fire Cox. Bork did the deed.

There’s an alternative open to Trump. He could simply order Attorney General Sessions to repeal the special counsel regulations, and then Trump could fire Mueller himself.

ADVERTISEMENT

But, as the Nixon saga showed, these routes would be perilous – both for Trump’s presidency and for our system of government, because they would undermine public trust in the impartiality of our system of justice and in the office of the presidency.

They would also further divide the country between Trump supporters who believe the Mueller investigation to be part of a conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency, and the vast majority of Americans who are more likely to believe, as a result of these actions, that Trump has done something that he wants to hide at all costs.

The question is whether Trump is willing to risk it, nonetheless

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump’s longshot bid to win New Mexico has political leaders baffled: ‘He’s a batsh*t racist’

Published

on

Despite losing New Mexico by eight points in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump and his campaign manager Brad Pascale are making big plans to win the state in 2020 -- and that has political observers baffled.

With Trump appearing in New Mexico on Monday night, Politico reports the president has his work cut out for him in a state that saw the GOP lose the governorship and one House seat in 2018.

"The Land of Enchantment has voted for a Republican presidential candidate only once since 1992. With a considerable nonwhite voter population and all-Democratic congressional delegation, it’s not exactly fertile ground for a surprise GOP victory," the report notes before adding that Parscale feels they can make inroads this go-around.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Oil prices soar more than 10% after Saudi plant attacks

Published

on

Oil prices surged more than 10 percent Monday after attacks on two Saudi Arabian plants that slashed output in the world's top producer by half, with Donald Trump blaming Iran and raising the possibility of a military strike on the country.

West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.68 percent to $60.71 and Brent climbed 11.77 percent to $67.31 in early Asia trading following the blasts at facilities run by state-owned giant Aramco.

The attack by Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Most top Democratic presidential candidates demand Kavanaugh’s impeachment – but not all

Published

on

Most of the top Democratic presidential candidates are issuing calls demanding U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh be impeached, after new allegations of sexual misconduct in a bombshell New York Times report late Saturday night. Most of the candidates, but not all.

Julián Castro, Saturday night at 11:25 PM:

It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath. He should be impeached.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image