Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a frequent critic of President Donald Trump’s, said Congress is “begging” him not to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He tweeted:

We are begging the president not to fire the special counsel. Don’t create a constitutional crisis. Congress cannot preempt such a firing. Our only constitutional remedy is after the fact, through impeachment. No one wants that outcome. Mr. President, please don’t go there.

This was in response to President Trump’s criticism of Mueller when he took to Twitter over the weekend.

On Saturday, he tweeted:

The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!

On Sunday, President Trump complained about the Democrats Mueller had hired:

Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!

President Trump quoted Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s complaint about the investigation in two tweets on Wednesday morning:

Special Council (sic) is told to find crimes, whether a crime exists or not. I was opposed to the selection of Mueller to be Special Council. I am still opposed to it. I think President Trump was right when he said there never should have been a Special Council appointed because there was no probable cause for believing that there was any crime, collusion or otherwise, or obstruction of justice!

Some thoughts:

1. President Trump would be stupid to fire Mueller.

It would be positively stupid to fire Mueller as special counsel. It makes it look like he has something to hide. It is politically tone deaf. He would have nothing to gain from such a move. Firing Mueller would not make the Russia investigation go away; it would do the exact opposite. He would open himself up to additional congressional investigations.

Muller’s top priority should be to look into Russian interference of the 2016┬ápresidential election, and he should follow the investigation wherever it leads. The American people deserve to know just how deep or not this goes.

2. “Constitutional crisis” is an overused┬áphrase.

The phrase “constitutional crisis” is used so much that it has lost all meaning and both the left and the right are guilty of this. (Heck, I’m probably guilty of this as well.)

Should the House impeach President Trump if he fired Mueller, and then the Senate convicts THAT would be the constitutional crisis. Removing a President from office is not an action that Congress should take lightly. It should be an act of last resort, and there should be evidence of President Trump committing a crime. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says the standard is “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Should Congress seek to impeach as Senator Flake suggests, they, not President Trump, have caused the constitutional crisis.

3. The President exercising his Article II powers is not an impeachable offense.

Last I checked, the Constitution states, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America,” (Article II, Section 1).

This is why Senator Flake is correct that Congress can’t preempt a firing because then you have the Legislative Branch meddling with the Executive Branch. There are constitutional checks and balances, but this is not one of them. I am against executive overreach regardless of who resides in the White House. I am not interested in expanding executive power. This is not an expansion of power. This would be the President exercising power that the Constitution gives him.

The Special Counsel is under the U.S. Department of Justice, and that is under the executive branch. The President has always had the authority to hire (with some positions needing Senate confirmation) or fire. That doesn’t suddenly stop because President Trump is in the White House and people disagree with the decision.

Those pushing impeachment can’t credibly charge President Trump with obstruction of justice as there has been zero evidence leaked or released that demonstrates he or his campaign colluded with Russia.

4. The investigation should continue, but Mueller needs to remain above board.

President Trump has some legitimate complaints. The partisan makeup of Mueller’s team is concerning. The leaks have been inappropriate. He can’t have tunnel vision. He can’t just ben hyper-focused on Trump and ignore Russian connections with The Clinton Foundation.

There also needs to be some timeline (even if it is internal) to wrap the investigation up if it doesn’t bear fruit. Special counsels are notorious for manufacturing an offense. Ken Starr did not nail President Clinton for anything he was investigating him for, but instead, for perjury in the midst of his investigation. So far, all of the indictments Mueller has brought have not been related to any campaign activity.

If the cooperation Muller receives from those indicted implicates others of wrongdoing so be it, but get to it. Right now, the only proven interference by Russia are the Facebook ads, Twitter bots, and fake news they instigated. All of these things are a problem, but none of that has anything to do with the Trump administration.

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