• Graham: Firing Mueller would be 'beginning of the end' of Trump's presidency [Politico]

      By DARREN SAMUELSOHN 07/27/2017 10:50 AM EDT Updated 07/27/2017 11:37 AM EDT

      Sen. Lindsey Graham said his bill 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.” | Jacquelyn Martin/AP

      Sen. Lindsey Graham sent a sharp warning Thursday to President Donald Trump that it “could be the beginning of the end” of his presidency if he makes moves to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

      The South Carolina Republican, who in the late 1990s served as a House impeachment manager against President Bill Clinton, said Trump would be crossing a serious “red line” by ordering the ouster of the lead investigator who is probing his campaign’s ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

      “Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill, where he outlined plans to introduce legislation next week that would move to block any Trump attempts to fire Mueller.

      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.”

      “We need a check and balance here,” Graham said.

      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.

      Procedurally, Trump could keep replacing his Justice Department leadership if they don’t follow his order to get rid of the special counsel — much as President Richard Nixon did in the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

      Trump last week sidestepped the idea of firing the special counsel in a New York Times interview. Asked directly whether he would consider firing Mueller, the president replied, “I can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen.” The new White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in a Tuesday morning interview that the subject has come up with Trump.

      “I'll be on the record with this: In candid conversations with the president, I've said, 'Why would you fire him?'” Scaramucci said.

      Speaking with reporters Thursday, Graham also railed against Trump for his continued public humiliation of Sessions, repeating Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s comment on Wednesday night that there would be no confirmation hearings in 2017 for any Sessions replacement.

      “This effort to basically marginalize and humiliate the attorney general is not going over well with the Senate. I don’t think it’s going over well in the conservative world. If you believe Jeff Sessions should be fired, use the power you have and accept the consequences. I hope it stops,” Graham said, adding, “If Jeff Sessions is fired there will be holy hell to pay.”

      On Fox News the same morning, Graham appeared to speak directly to the president, who is known to watch the network: "I would suggest quit humiliating Jeff."

      Graham told reporters a Mueller firing would cause serious political and constitutional consequences for Trump.

      “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 said. “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.”
      Negassi Tesfamichael contributed to this report.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Graham: Firing Mueller would be 'beginning of the end' of Trump's presidency [Politico] started by Do Do View original post
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