Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Lawmakers discuss reports of Trump wanting to fire Mueller

Lawmakers discuss reports of Trump wanting to fire Mueller

Senate Republicans moved quickly last August amid speculation that Trump might fire Mueller for investigating beyond his perceived mandate.

The committee, which has posted a business meeting for 5 p.m. ET, has not yet said if it plans to vote Monday to release the memo spearheaded by Chairman Devin Nunes. And the Justice Department has warned that making it public without a review process would be "extraordinarily reckless", though this wouldn't be the first time Trump has endorsed a course of action that others in his administration would describe in such fashion.

If Trump did try to fire Mueller, it could strengthen a case for obstruction of justice against the president based on whether he had "corrupt intent" in trying to hinder Mueller's investigation, legal experts said. He clarified he sees no evidence Trump wants to fire Mueller now.

JOE MANCHIN: I think at that time there'll be Democrats and Republicans saying, 'Time to protect the judicial system and the three branches of government having equal power.' Absolutely.

Collins said it "wouldn't hurt" for Congress to pass the bill, but she also said she has faith that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, won't let Trump fire Mueller.

The report comes a day after Facebook said, in written replies provided to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, between the targeting efforts of Trump's campaign and that of a Russian propaganda unit called the Internet Research Agency.

News of Trump's brush with firing Mueller came as reports emerged suggesting the investigation is increasingly focused on the question of whether Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey.

The new information about Trump's desire to fire Mueller - which the President deemed "fake news" on Friday - puts his team on a collision course with the special counsel as the two are in talks about the President being interviewed.

Nunes has reportedly denied Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr's (R-N.C.) staff access to a classified memo detailing allegations of government surveillance abuse that is tied to the ongoing Russian Federation election meddling investigation, reported Wednesday. The president backed off once the White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign, according to the story.

Trump, while visiting Switzerland last week, called the report "fake news."

If we limit ourselves to what's publicly known, though, she said: "It's troubling conduct that warrants an investigation".

A trove of missing text messages exchanged between FBI employees who shared an anti-Trump bias gave fuel to criticism of the bureau. A better bill would provide Mr. Mueller with more than just protection against removal.

"Typical New York Times", he added.

Trump could be questioned about the incident by Mueller's team, which sources say has been negotiating with the president's personal lawyers about a possible interview in the coming weeks.

Graham also appeared to brush aside the White House campaign to dismiss the probe as politically motivated and the president's denial that he tried to fire Mueller previous year, as was reported by The New York Times and subsequently confirmed by other news organizations.

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