A precedent set during the Watergate era may lead to more legal protections for special counsel Robert Mueller, MSNBC’s Ari Melber reported Friday night.
In a special report, Melber noted that the Senate “not only decides whether to approve the attorney general, but it can require that this attorney general, under oath, will back up Bob Mueller.”
“We know that,” Melber said, “because it’s happened before.”
President Richard Nixon, like Donald Trump, was under investigation by his own Justice Department when he appointed Elliott Richardson to become his attorney general.
As with today’s political climate, the “crucial” question then was whether the new AG would allow Archibald Cox, the person tasked with investigating Watergate, to be truly independent and to finish their probe unimpeded.
“Back in ’73, the Senate didn’t simply vet Richardson,” Melber said. “It used those hearings to extract a binding arrangement under oath to protect the special prosecutor’s Watergate probe, demanding that the Watergate prosecutor would get final authority.”
Richardson initially pushed back, the host noted, but “the Senate stopped him right then and they said they wouldn’t even hold a hearing until he committed to more independence.”
“The senators didn’t know that trail would lead to a White House with a secret taping system,” Melber said, “but they knew enough about the Constitution to use the Senate as a check against Nixon’s attempt to kneecap the DOJ. Richardson was confirmed on the assurance that he would not intervene in the probe on Nixon’s behalf.”
Amid ample comparisons between Trump and Nixon, the host pointed out that the current president is “much worse” than his predecessor.
“Let’s be clear: Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon — he’s way worse,” Melber said. “More openly hostile to rule of law, more disrespectful to the FBI agents that risk their lives.”
“Nobody knows where Mueller is headed exactly,” he added, “but next week’s hearing could decide where he’s allowed to go and if he’s allowed to hold Mueller back or keep the report secret.”
Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report
On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.
"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."
Republican freaks out after Democrat quotes Trump’s racist statement on the floor of Congress
Chaos continued on the floor of the House of Representatives during the debate on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four young women of color.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) rose to support the resolution, listing multiple instances of racism from the commander-in-chief.
As part of the list, Swalwell noted Trump's attacks on "sh*thole countries."
After he swore on the floor by quoting the president, Republicans freaked out.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) complained and got in a back-and-forth with Swalwell.
Collins sought to have Swalwell's words stricken from the Congressional Record, which would have banned him from speaking for the rest of the day.
Appeals court delivers ‘tremendous blow to federal workers’ with decision to uphold Trump’s anti-union executive orders
"There must be a check on the president's power to destroy federal employees' union rights."
Unions representing hundreds of thousands of federal employees on Tuesday vowed to fight a federal appeals court ruling in which a three-judge panel unanimously upheld President Donald Trump's executive orders attacking workers' rights.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit said that it lacked jurisdiction to block Trump's orders, which made it easier to fire federal employees, limited the amount of time workers can spend on union business, and compelled federal agencies to devise unfavorable contracts with unions.