Senator Lindsey Graham Says Firing Mueller ‘Would Be a Constitutional Crisis’

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt this week about the prospect of President Donald Trump’s firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. From his perspective, it would trigger a constitutional crisis and rise to an impeachable offense.

Hewitt asked the Palmetto State’s senior Senator if firing Mueller would be an impeachable offense, to which Graham replied, “probably so, if he did it without cause, yeah.”

I think what the president will have done is stopped an investigation in[to] whether or not his campaign colluded with the Russians, what effect the Russians had on the 2016 campaign. I can’t see it being anything other than a corrupt purpose…to stop investigation without cause, I think, would be a constitutional crisis.

Under the Department of Justice Special Counsel Regulations, special prosecutors can be terminated “only by the personal action of the Attorney General and only for good cause,” or physical or mental impairments. It explained that “[i]n addition to the affirmative grant of independence, the other critical hallmark of independence, indeed the guardian of it, is the freedom from removal, absent good cause.”

The president also lacks the authority to fire Mueller directly, though he could fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, appoint a new AG during a Senate recess, and have Mueller dismissed by the new AG.

Or he could order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to do the deed, although Rosenstein has said he sees no justification for firing the Special Counsel (Trump could then presumably continue down the ladder at the Justice Department until someone agrees to do it).

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