Donald Trump Said He Wanted To Fire Robert Mueller In December
President Donald Trump has been fuming over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for several months, and now it has been revealed the president told advisers in December that he wished to shut the probe down by firing Mueller.
Donald Trump Sought To Fire Robert Mueller in December
According to the New York Times, Trump reportedly grew particularly irate over reports that Mueller would soon issue multiple subpoenas from his organization to obtain documents relating to his business negotiations with Deutsche Bank, White House officials stated. The special counsel did in fact subpoena the Trump Organization in March.
Several lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, have warned the president of the dangers of firing Mueller this far into the investigation into whether the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election by colluding with Trump’s campaign. Several top White House officials have also discouraged the president from firing the special counsel, but Trump has reportedly given several signs that he is prepared to do exactly this, despite his recent claim that he is willing to meet with Mueller for an interview.
“He certainly believes he has the power to do so,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated late Tuesday of the President’s ability to fire Mueller. “We’ve been advised that the President certainly has the power to make that decision.”
The code of federal regulations dictates that the only person who could fire Mueller is Jeff Sessions.
“The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General,” the code states. “The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal.”
Trump also voiced anger on Tuesday after learning of the FBI’s raid of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen’s office on Monday. Cohen’s office was searched — reportedly after a referral from Mueller — for documents related to the attorney’s payment of $130,000 to pornographic star Stormy Daniels, who had an affair with Trump in 2006. Cohen’s office was also raided to investigate other matters, including affairs Trump allegedly had with other women. Agents even searched through emails and other forms of correspondence between him and the president.
“Attorney-client privilege is dead!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning.
The president reportedly told White House counsel Donald F. McGahn in June that he wanted Mueller to be fired. At the time, Trump cited multiple conflict-of-interest issues that he believed disqualified the special counsel from conducting the probe. One such example Trump gave was a disagreement Mueller had with Trump’s Washington-area golf course years prior.
Advisers have reportedly warned Trump repeatedly that firing Mueller would hurt his presidency because he would lose support from lawmakers in his own party.
Several members of Trump’s legal team have also expressed frustration with the president’s continued refusal to heed advice on how to handle the Russia probe. Trump’s lead lawyer in the investigation, John Dowd, resigned last month.
On Tuesday, it was also revealed that Facebook is working with Mueller in the Russia probe. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before Congress this week with regards to recent revelations that the social media company leaked the personal information of over 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm tied to Trump. Zuckerberg said Mueller has interviewed several Facebook employees, though the CEO himself is not among them.
It is believed Facebook played a major role in influencing the outcome of the 2016 election, as Russian “bots” reportedly flooded Americans’ news feeds with fake news to discredit Hillary Clinton and favor Trump.
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