Former FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday tamped down concerns over Donald Trump’s reported willingness to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller, telling NPR the president “would literally have to fire everyone” to shut down the Russia investigation.
“I don't see firing Rod Rosenstein or Robert Mueller, frankly, as effective,” Comey told NPR. “If the president's goal is to shut down an investigation, he would literally have to fire everyone in the Department of Justice and the FBI to accomplish that. And that's impossible because someone will replace those people, and some agents will continue the work.”
Comey added that “the good news for people” is that the Department of Justice and the FBI “are ballasts.”
“Those people do not care about partisan politics,” Comey said of his former agency. “And if seven people are fired, the eighth person will pick up the shield and march on and do the job. So he'd literally have to fire everyone in those organizations to accomplish his goal.”
Comey also said he believes Congress will move to protect the investigation in the event Trump tries to fire Rosenstein and Mueller.
“Even though they've been slow to awaken, I know people in Congress on both sides of the aisle care deeply about finding the truth,” Comey said. “And so I think in theory, but it'd be very difficult in practice.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday told Fox News he would not bring forward a bill to protect Mueller, insisting "as a practical matter" Trump wouldn't sign it in the first place.
"Why would he sign it?" McConnell asked.
Listen to the full interview below: