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Trump Could Fire Robert Mueller Unless You Pressure Congress to Stop Him

The most effective messages come from individual citizens to keep the branches of government in check.

by Karen Hobert Flynn
Nov 3 2017, 4:15pm

Illustration via Aaron Barksdale.

This is an opinion piece by Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy.

If Russian agents planted bogus information in the office computers of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, or House Speaker Paul Ryan, and/or their Democratic counterparts on Capitol Hill, those leaders would race to the nearest TV cameras to demand a full, independent, investigation and vigorous prosecution of all involved.

But this week, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller has secured one conviction and two indictments of former officials in Donald Trump's campaign for president – a campaign helped along by Russian cyber-saboteurs who may have been working with Trump or his advisers – key lawmakers seem uninterested in stepping up to protect Mueller and his investigation.
We shouldn't stand for it. And we don't have to.

Thousands of Americans, answering calls from Common Cause and other good government organizations, already have called and/or emailed their senators and/or representatives to demand that Congress cover Mueller's back.

We must be prepared for anything. Trump already has considered firing Mueller, which would trigger a constitutional crisis like we haven't seen since Watergate. The Manafort indictment has so enraged the president that members of his staff have confided to reporters that they worry he will lash out at the special counsel.

You should join them and doing so is really easy. You can email your lawmakers, or find your representative's phone number and make a call.

We know from experience that most effective messages come from individual citizens, in their own words. So, here's some information that might help you compose yours.


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Investigations into criminal enterprises take time and Mueller is known as a careful, methodical investigator. The guilty plea of former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and the charges this week against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former deputy, Rick Gates, are the first, but probably not the last criminal charges growing out of the investigation.

We must be prepared for anything. Trump already has considered firing Mueller, which would trigger a constitutional crisis like we haven't seen since Watergate. The Manafort indictment has so enraged the president that members of his staff have confided to reporters that they worry he will lash out at the special counsel.

Congress must put country over party and act now to protect Mueller's independence, and prevent Trump from firing him. It must send a signal that any interference in the investigation crosses a red line.

Two bills that would protect Mueller and his investigation of Russia's election meddling, the Special Counsel Integrity Act and the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act, are languishing in the Senate. They were introduced last summer – amid considerable fanfare – by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-SC; Thom Tillis, R-NC; Cory Booker, D-NJ; and Chris Coons, D-DE.
The bills take different paths to a shared end. One, from Graham and Booker, would require a judge to sign off in advance on any attempt to fire Mueller; the other, sponsored by Tillis and Coons, would allow the special counsel to challenge his firing in court after the fact.

Reconciling these approaches ought to be simple. Because the shared goal has bipartisan support, a bill doing just that should already have been passed and signed by the president. But Booker acknowledged this week that the four senators involved have yet to even schedule a face-to-face meeting to fuse their proposals.

Anyone who's serious about getting to the bottom of Russia's attempts to meddle with our elections should sign on as a co-sponsor of these vitally important bills.

"I don't feel an urgent need to pass that law until you show me a reason that Mr. Mueller's in jeopardy," Graham told reporters. "I don't think anyone in their right mind at the White House would think about replacing Mr. Mueller."

That's nuts. Stephen Bannon, who until August was the president's top strategist, is said to be counseling the president to strike back at Mueller and cut off funding of his investigation. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, whose editors answer to Trump pal Rupert Murdoch, has called on Mueller to quit.

So, Trump is getting plenty of advice to dump Mueller. Does anyone believe the president would give the special counsel – or much less Congress – notice that he was about to do just that?
The last time the country was in even a remotely comparable situation, in 1973, President Nixon picked a Saturday night in October to sack Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor. Nixon moved without warning and against the advice of his staff; his attorney general, Elliot Richardson, and deputy William Ruckelshaus, quit rather than carry out the firing order.

This is a crucial test for every member of Congress, Democrat and Republican. Anyone who's serious about getting to the bottom of Russia's attempts to meddle with our elections should sign on as a co-sponsor of these vitally important bills -- and we need to speak out TODAY to make sure that happens.

Don't wait. The future of American democracy depends on each of us. Send your message today or call your lawmakers to demand Congress take action to protect Mueller's investigation and ensure we get the whole truth about Trump and Russia.

Tagged:
Donald Trump
Impact
Paul Manafort
Robert Mueller
Obvious journalistic collusion I mean GG is gonna be up in arms over this
russia investigation
George Papadopoulos