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Why Trump Can’t (Lawfully) Fire Mueller


Why Trump Can’t (Lawfully) Fire Mueller

Marty Lederman

There’s been a great deal of noise from some of the President’s confidants over the past 48 hours suggesting that he might (try to) remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Most alarmingly, Trump friend Chris Ruddy told Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour on Monday night that “I think [the President is] considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he’s weighing that option.”


Clearly, I don’t have the legal mind to follow all this. BUT Trump seems to find a new way to outrage us every day.

While the legal strictures are there to prevent Mueller’s firing, couldn’t Trump find argument for circumventing them and fire Mueller anyway? Could he at the very least invent a way to defund Mueller’s work? My guess is that we’d get into that whole “unitary executive” crap once more.

What happens then? Does Mueller ignore the order and continue working? What entity has standing to defend the laws cited here. I don’t see Congress in position to do that. Wouldn’t it have to be Mueller himself? and wouldn’t it have to be argued in the Supreme Court? And who pays those costs?


The good news is that the legalities are also certainly far beyond djt’s mind and even his interest. And if he tries impulsively to just do it, Rosenstein, WH Counsel McCahn, and his personal mouthpiece put their own professional lives on the line if they don’t advise him of the legalities. I trust Rosenstein, despite his memo for firing Comey, which I think was written for him.


IMHO, firing Mueller would pretty much amount to an admission of guilt on Tweetle-Dumb’s part, and might finally push the RePooplicans in the House to pass a Bill of Impeachment. I think it’s more likely just another attempt to confuse the issue and simultaneously to enhance the smoke-screen covering Congress’ heinous maneuverings surrounding the AHCA and the new budget, neither of which has been getting much media at- tention recently.


The Newsmax pal of DJT’s also laid the groundwork for Mueller’s dismissal by alleging that Mueller met with DJT about being appointed FBi Director, once again (reality check: Mueller never met with DJT but DJT was considering him as a potential FBI head…Mueller met with WH staff NOT DJT) and asserted that this might be illegal and grounds for his dismissal. The DJT gang of ghouls is sucking our democracy dry and they have no respect for the rule of law, obviously.


I understood that Mueller was considered for FBI, not AG. He’s way too independent-minded for AG.


Thank you, I said AG when it was FBI director (reprise of his GWB years).