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Removing the Special Counsel without good cause is as unacceptable today as it was when President Nixon fired the Special Prosecutor in 1973.” (US Senator Coons)
Tape recorder from President Nixon’s Oval Office, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, via Wikimedia
WashingtonPost.com: “Nixon Forces Firing of Cox; Richardson, Ruckelshaus Quit“By Kilpatrick, Carroll, October 21, 1973: “In the most traumatic government upheaval of the Watergate crisis, President Nixon yesterday discharged Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and accepted the resignations of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson…https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/watergate/articles/102173-2.htm

The terms ‘special prosecutor’, ‘independent counsel’, and ‘special counsel’ have the same fundamental meaning, and their use (at least at the federal level in the U.S.) is generally differentiated by the time period to which they are being applied. The term ‘special prosecutor’ was used throughout the Watergate era, but was replaced by the less confrontational ‘independent counsel’…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_prosecutor

Congress must subpoena Trump tapes– and make them public– not simply request them. Only way to make sure all are provided, if they exist.” (US Senator Blumenthal in June 2017)

US “Sen. Coons’ statement on reports that President Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Mueller Sen. Coons: “Removing the Special Counsel without good cause is as unacceptable today as it was when President Nixon fired the Special Prosecutor in 1973.” WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in response to reports that President Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June. Last August, Senators Coons and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Special Counsel Integrity Act, bipartisan legislation that would support the integrity of independent investigations by allowing judicial review if a special counsel is removed. “Reports that President Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller are profoundly disturbing. Removing the Special Counsel without good cause is as unacceptable today as it was when President Nixon fired the Special Prosecutor in 1973,” said Senator Coons.  “It is more important than ever for Congress to act to protect the independence of the Department of Justice, including the Special Counsel investigation. For several months, I have been working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do just that. These reports make clear that we need to act.https://www.coons.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sen-coons-statement-on-reports-that-president-trump-attempted-to-fire-special-counsel-mueller. https://www.coons.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sens-coons-and-tillis-introduce-bipartisan-special-counsel-integrity-act

Republican Senator Grassley of Iowa said on CNN that he is “open to considering” the bills to protect Mueller from White House pressure.[1]

NYTimes: “Senate Democrats Seek to Protect Mueller From Being Fired“: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/us/politics/trump-mueller-fired-special-counsel.html

Statement of U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner on Report that the President Ordered the Firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller Last June
Jan 25 2018 WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the New York Times report that President Trump ordered the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June:“I’ve said it before, and I am saying it again: firing the Special Counsel is a red line that the President cannot cross. Any attempt to remove the Special Counsel, pardon key witnesses, or otherwise interfere in the investigation, would be a gross abuse of power, and all members of Congress, from both parties, have a responsibility to our Constitution and to our country to make that clear immediately.” Last month, Sen. Warner spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate to warn of threats to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and highlight the constitutional crisis that would likely ensue if the President were to interfere in the Mueller probe.   ### Press Releases Intelligence Russia Permalink
: https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/1/statement-of-u-s-sen-mark-r-warner-on-report-that-the-president-ordered-the-firing-of-special-counsel-robert-mueller-last-june
See: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/us-senator-warner-draws-red-lines-on-firing-special-counsel-pardoning-witnesses-or-interfering-in-the-mueller-investigation-speech-transcript-video-related-info/

From VOA: “Newspapers: Trump Tried to Fire Mueller in June
Last Updated: January 26, 2018 6:50 AM, VOA News 
The New York Times and Washington Post report that President Donald Trump ordered special counsel Robert Mueller fired in June, but backed off when the White House counsel threatened to quit. He described the accounts to reporters at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, as “Fake news, folks Fake news. Typical New York Times fake news.

Mueller is investigating allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in interfering in the 2016 presidential election. He is also looking into possible obstruction of justice by the White House.

[MA Comment: Mueller’s apparently looking into a lot of other things too.

The New York Times says: “the president began to argue that Mr. Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation, two of the people said. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/us/politics/trump-mueller-special-counsel-russia.html That he “began to argue” is very different from what the VOA says which is that he ordered the firing because he felt there were conflicts of interest. Clearly that was an excuse, which raises the question of how much control Trump now exercises over VOA, as does opening with Trump’s wearisome claims of fake news.

VOA continues: “According to the newspapers, Trump ordered the Justice Department to fire Mueller because Trump felt there were three separate conflicts of interest that disqualified Mueller from leading the investigation: a dispute over membership fees at a Trump-owned golf course that caused Mueller to resign; Mueller worked for a law firm that had represented the president’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner; and Mueller was interviewed to return to his old job as FBI director the day before he was appointed special counsel.

The reports said White House counsel Don McGahn refused to pass on the president’s order to fire Mueller to the Justice Department. McGahn believed firing Mueller would have a catastrophic effect on the Trump presidency and cast an even bigger shadow of alleged obstruction of justice, according to the news reports. Trump’s attorney Ty Cobb declined to comment on the reports “out of respect for the Office of the Special Counsel and its process.”

Russia probe
Mueller was appointed special counsel in May after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was then heading up the Russia probe.

Comey’s firing has raised questions of whether the president tried to obstruct justice in the investigation.

Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team said Thursday that more than 20 White House employees have voluntarily talked to Mueller and his investigators. Trump attorney John Dowd said the White House turned over more than 20,000 pages of documents to Mueller, calling it unprecedented cooperation with the investigation. Dowd called it “the most transparent response in history by a president” to a special counsel.

The document also said 28 others involved with the Trump presidential campaign have been questioned by either Mueller or congressional committees probing the Russian meddling.

Trump told reporters before leaving for Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday that he is “looking forward” to speaking with Mueller in the coming weeks and is willing to do it under oath. “I would love to do it, and I would like to do it as soon as possible. I would do it under oath, absolutely,” he said. Trump reiterated that there was no collusion with Russia to help him win the election and suggested he is being investigated for obstruction of justice because he was “fighting back” against the investigation.

Trump’s interview with Mueller’s investigators has not been scheduled. Terms of the interview also have not been set, with Trump saying it would be “subject to my lawyers.”

Speaking to investigators
Months ago, Trump said he would “100 percent” agree to meet with Mueller’s investigators, but more recently questioned why any interview would be needed since he said there was no collusion.

But Trump’s legal team has been trying to temper the president’s remarks. White House lawyer Cobb told the New York Times Wednesday that Trump is “ready to meet with them (Mueller’s investigators), but he’ll be guided by the advice of his personal counsel.”

U.S. law makes it a crime to obstruct justice or hinder an “official proceeding.”

Legal experts say that while a sitting president cannot be prosecuted for obstruction of justice or any other crime, Congress can use the charge of obstruction to impeach a president.

Former President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998, in part for obstruction of justice. He was acquitted. President Richard Nixon was facing impeachment in 1974 but resigned first.

Mueller’s investigation into the Russian election interference has reached into Trump’s Cabinet, with the interview last week of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while Sessions was a U.S. senator and a Trump campaign advocate, and later played a role in Comey’s firing. Comey was interviewed weeks ago.

Trump has insisted the Mueller investigation and congressional probes into the Russian election meddling are a hoax perpetrated by Democrats looking to explain his upset victory Hillary Clinton.

Trump and Republican colleagues in Congress increasingly have accused the FBI of bias in pursuing the Trump investigation and their dropping without charges of a 2016 probe into Clinton’s handling of classified material on a private email server while she was the country’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.https://www.voanews.com/a/newspapers-trump-tried-to-fire-mueller-in-june/4225900.html Clinton’s not president, Trump is. And, Trump needs to be urgently impeached.




Note 1: “Grassley: Trump should let Mueller investigation ‘work its course’
By Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN, Updated 5:41 PM ET, Fri January 26, 2018
https://www.cnn. com/2018/01/26/politics/grassley-trump-mueller/