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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/25/18

Stop Trump from firing Mueller

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From The Hill


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In my opinion there is a 95 percent probability that a desperate President Trump will soon move to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, or issue pre-emptive pardons against defendants or suspects in the scandal surrounding the continuing Russian attack against democracy in America and Europe.

First, a warning to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). They have the capability, today, to prevent a new Saturday Night Massacre and an ugly constitutional crisis for America by supporting bipartisan legislation that would protect Mueller from being fired by Trump.

McConnell and Ryan both claim to believe that Mueller should not be fired and will not be fired. Taking them at their word that they believe these things, their protestations against providing protection for Mueller from events they believe should not happen and claim with confidence will not happen are inherently disingenuous and absurd.

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What possible downside exists from protecting Mueller from a danger they claim does not exist? If they continue to take this stand, when Trump does fire Mueller, the Republican leaders of both houses of Congress will be complicit in the constitutional crisis that will result, and the crime of obstruction of justice that this would constitute, as a result of their inaction.

It is no exaggeration to state that this outcome will have disastrous consequences for the nation and the Republican Party they lead. McConnell and Ryan would be well advised to support today the bipartisan protection for Mueller that is now on the table.

Second, a blunt warning for the inspector general of the Department of Justice. Parts of his upcoming report have already been subject to an unethical and unauthorized leak to the media, which should be formally investigated, to justify the firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who stands accused of engaging in unauthorized discussions with the media.

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Whatever is ultimately concluded by the inspector general in his final report, there is strong reason to suspect that the report will be dishonestly distorted by the president to justify his firing of Mueller and others pursuing justice that he treats as political enemies.

Any credible report by the inspector general of the Justice Department should include a fact-based discussion of the systematic, aggressive, sweeping and continuing attacks by the president against the independence of the Justice Department and the fair administration of justice in America.

The president has fired virtually every leader of every investigation of the Russian attack against America. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was fired. Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates was fired after she warned the White House of potential blackmail by Russia. Former FBI Director James Comey was fired after he refused presidential entreaties that were so questionable that other presidential aides were asked to leave the room.

At various times the president insulted, berated, threatened, bullied or attacked every agency of American justice, law enforcement and counterintelligence that protects America from continuing attacks against by a foreign enemy. At times the president has waged his attacks like personal vendettas.

Trump has repeatedly humiliated and threatened Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who appears to be a material witness for the obstruction of justice investigation involving the firing of Comey, and he sought to intimidate and bully the inspector general himself by personally attacking him as well in a tweet.

The president pressures the Justice Department on matters involving criminal cases and civil cases. He pressures the Justice Department to investigate two former Democratic presidents and his Democratic opponent for president in 2016.

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The president continues to wage systematic and aggressive political war against the FBI. He pressures the Justice Department to abandon investigations that involve him or his associates and initiate unwarranted investigations of those he considers political enemies.

All concerned about justice in America should be angry, outraged and alarmed. Republican leaders should act now and support bipartisan legislation to prevent Trump from firing Mueller, which the president could sign to national applause if he truly intends to not fire Mueller.

 

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)
 

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