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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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Slipknot: Will Trump fire Mueller to derail collusion probe?

Washington is gripped with speculation

Share on Facebook December 16, 2017, Reporter : BNN, Reader : 628

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WASHINGTON, U.S. - With three of U.S. President Donald Trump’s allies, including the ousted former National Security adviser Michael Flynn and one-time campaign manager Paul Manafort, already being indicted by Special Counsel Mueller, the noose is soon tightening around the country’s administration. 

Now, Washington is gripped with speculation that Trump is set to fire Mueller as early as before Christmas.

In an explosive revelation, Congresswoman Jackie Speier has admitted that the president is reportedly planning to fire Mueller - sending shock waves across the political spectrum.

Both lawmakers and journalists alike are now pondering on what would be the effects of such a move by the President, who seems to be heading towards more trouble with the special counsel.  

According to Speier, rumors churning out on the Hill strongly suggest that Trump is planning to fire Mueller as the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s elections reaches a crescendo. 

Reports also quoted sources close to the administration as saying that Trump is worried that the tentacles of this broad investigation might finally be reaching for the Trump family.

In her statement, Speier said that her sources have informed her that the president is planning to make a speech at the end of next week, soon after which, he will fire Mueller.

She said, “The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week. And on December 22, when we are out of D.C., he was going to fire Robert Mueller.”

Experts have pointed out that if such a scenario plays out, it will trigger a constitutional crisis unlike one America has witnessed in recent memory. 

Observers said that not only will the president bypass the judicial branch of the government with such a decision, he will effectively “obstruct justice” by derailing an investigation into his role in Russian interference with U.S. elections.

Speier too has suggested something similar, claiming that if Trump were to fire Mueller, lawmakers and citizens will be left with no other option but to impeach Trump.

Referring to the rumor, she said, “That is Saturday massacre 2.0. Without a doubt there would be an impeachment effort.”

But Trump could brace himself for a significant impeachment effort directed against him if he does fire Mueller. 

Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics warned Trump not to “cross the red line.”

He said, “The coordinated effort by President Trump and his surrogates to discredit the Mueller investigation raises serious alarms. Rather than making themselves complicit in this assault on the rule of law, Members of Congress should send a clear message to the President that firing Mueller is a red line he must not cross.”

Shaub added that if Mueller is fired, people must be ready to take instant action, including lawmakers in the Senate and in the House.

He said, “Make a plan folks. Be ready to take to the streets. This is an attack on our Republic.”

Further, experts pointed out that the founders of the country precisely outlined the impeachment power for such a scenario. 

Reports noted that during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, George Mason pointed out that no American — be it the president — was exempt from taking the law into his own hands.

On Friday, Adam Schiff, who is the leading Democrat on the House intelligence committee said he fears Republicans are manoeuvring to kill off inquiries into Moscow’s interference in the presidential election.

Schiff said, “I’m increasingly worried Republicans will shut down the House intelligence committee investigation at the end of the month.”

The top Democrat suggested Republicans also had their sights on the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation overseen by Mueller. 

With the president’s personal lawyers set to meet Mueller and his team within days to ask about the next steps in his investigation - Schiff pointed out, “Beyond our investigation, here’s what has me really concerned: the attacks on [Robert] Mueller, the DoJ [the Department of Justice] and FBI this week make it clear they plan to go after Mueller’s investigation.”

He said, “By shutting down the congressional investigations when they continue to discover new and important evidence, the White House can exert tremendous pressure to end or curtail [Robert] Mueller’s investigation or cast doubt on it. We cannot let that happen.”
Following Schiff’s comments, Trump yet again lashed out at the FBI inquiry into possible collision, calling it a “Democrat hoax,” and even declined to rule out pardoning Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with Russia.

He said, “When you look at what’s gone on with the FBI and with the justice department, people are very, very angry. When everybody – not me, when everybody – the level of anger at what they’ve been witnessing with respect to the FBI is certainly very sad.”

As evidence of campaign contacts with Russian operatives mounts, Trump repeated his denial on Friday and said, “There is absolutely no collusion. I didn’t make a phone call to Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. Everybody knows it. That was a Democrat hoax. It was an excuse for losing the election.”

 

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