Trump wants to ‘take down’ Mueller as new doubts arise: Schiff
Another week, another round of questions about whether President Trump will fire the man investigating him.
The fate of Special Counsel Robert Mueller seemed to hang in the balance again as Congress members and Trump supporters on Sunday told conflicting tales about the probe into Trump’s campaign. This came days after a report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, might be the next person to recuse himself from the investigation.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump and his legal team seemed determined to “take down” Mueller.
“They want to lay the foundation to discredit whatever Bob Mueller comes up with,” the California Congressman told ABC News’ “This Week.”
“They’re essentially engaging in a scorched earth litigation strategy that is beginning with trying to discredit the prosecutor. And that’s all that’s happening here.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — an ardent Trump supporter who has been publicly disparaging Mueller for weeks — told “This Week” that he has “every problem with what (Mueller’s) doing.” He also pointed out that Mueller is friends with fired FBI Director James Comey, a well-known connection that Gingrich called “weird.”
Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow didn’t help Mueller’s case on Sunday, as he claimed in several interviews that Trump is not being investigated by Mueller even though the President himself said so just days ago.
Speculation has run for weeks that Trump is gunning to fire Mueller, the former FBI director who was appointed to lead the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to the Russian government.
Speculation has run for weeks that President Trump wants to fire Mueller.
(TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Those fears seemed ready to end last week when Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who could remove Mueller, told a Senate subcommittee he saw “no cause” to do so.
But things went off the rails again after ABC News reported Rosenstein has privately acknowledged he might need to recuse himself because he wrote a memo that Trump used as partial justification for firing Comey.
A Rosenstein recusal would raise immediate questions about who would be the next person controlling Mueller’s appointment. That person would have the authority to fire Mueller, and Trump could try pushing him or her to do so.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Sunday he didn’t think Mueller would get axed.
“That’s not going to happen,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I don’t believe it’s going to happen.”
But Rubio — who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s election interference — acknowledged that he never thought Trump would fire Comey, either.