Lindsey Graham announces bill, threatens Trump: ‘Beginning of the end’ of presidency if he fires Mueller

On Thursday, never-Trump Republican and McCain sidekick Lindsey Graham announced that he would introduce a measure in the Senate next week that would prevent President Trump from taking action against special counsel Robert Mueller, despite current law.  The South Carolina senator also threatened Trump, saying that it “could be the beginning of the end” of his presidency if he makes moves to fire Mueller, Politico reported.

“Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Politico added:

Graham said his bill — which he promised would have Republican support and “all the Democrats” — would mandate that any special counsel established to investigate either a president or his staff can’t be fired “unless you have judicial review of the firing.”

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“We need a check and balance here,” Graham said. He is working on the legislation with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who in an MSNBC interview on Monday described the bill as an attempt to “try and make sure that the president can’t just fire a special prosecutor.”

Trump, his lawyers and his surrogates have for weeks been publicly discrediting Mueller’s effort, in particular several attorneys he’s brought onto the task force who have made campaign contributions to Democrats. The Republican president’s lawyer has also questioned the scope of the Mueller probe as it reportedly looks into Trump’s business dealings dating back to well before he ran for the presidency. By questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe, as well as other moves by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump has also sent signals he could be moving toward a much broader attempt to halt the Mueller probe.

“The idea that the president would fire Mueller or have somebody fire Mueller because he doesn’t like Mueller, or Mueller is doing something he doesn’t like, then we become Russia,” Graham told reporters. “So the red line should never be drawn. The president is not in the business of drawing red lines when it comes to the law. The law is above any presidential red line.”

But apparently not above Graham’s…

An article at LawNewz says Trump can’t take unilateral action, but further explained that according to 8 CFR 600.7:

(d) The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General. 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.

“In this case, the Deputy Attorney General since Attorney General (Sessions) is recused, can do it, and only for good cause,” Norm Eisen, an attorney and fellow at the Brookings Institute explained to LawNewz.com. “Now, Trump could order the Deputy Attorney General to do it. Something similar happened with Nixon during the Saturday Night Massacre, and both the Attorney General and the next in line refused to comply with the order. Finally after they were both fired Robert Bork complied. Of course, the result was that Nixon’s end was not far away.”

There’s more.  According to the post, “Trump would have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller. If he refused to do it, Trump could fire him until he found someone at the Department of Justice that would agree to fire the special prosecutor. However, there is one small caveat that could give Trump’s lawyers some wiggle room.”

The post further explained:

“The tiny wrinkle is that people who believe in a robust form of the unitary theory of the executive — the idea that the president should control the exercise of all elective power — might argue that the president retains this authority or discretion given that the prosecutor is an executive branch official,” Michael Gerhardt, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, told LawNewz.com   In Meyers v. United States, the Supreme Court said that the President has the exclusive power to terminate executive branch officials — and of course, the Justice Department is part of the executive branch.

“Indeed the Supreme Court decision in Myers could be read that way. I am guessing that some of the comments from Trump lawyers that he can do this himself could be based on that reading of the constitution,” Gerhardt explained.

While Trump can legally take action to fire Trump under current law, any move to do so could spark a political firestorm, but it seems that everything he does — even speaking to the Boy Scouts — already does that.  Nothing new there…

But Graham’s threat and planned legislation would not only strip the administration of powers it already has under the law, it would set a dangerous precedent.  What if Graham later decided Trump shouldn’t be allowed to act as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces?  Or should be allowed to have Secret Service protection or use Air Force One?

In short, it would seem that Graham is not only working to spark a constitutional crisis, he’s giving ammunition to the likes of Maxine Waters, the Trump-hating California Democrat obsessed with the president’s impeachment.

Make no mistake, this is just a part of the ongoing coup d’etat against Trump.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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