Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, suggested that President Trump could have changed his mind on firing US Attorney Preet Bharara because he had been asked to investigate the President’s potential violations of the Emoluments Clause.
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Transcript via ABC’s This Week:
CUMMINGS: Certainly, the president has the opportunity and the right to fire U.S. attorneys. But, we — I wonder, George, you know, just not very long ago, the president was saying that he was going to keep the U.S. attorney there in New York. And then, suddenly, he’s, I guess, changed his mind.
I’m just curious as to why that is. And certainly, there’s a lot of questions coming up as to whether Mr. Trump is — President Trump is concerned about the jurisdiction of this U.S. attorney and whether that might affect his future.
When you look at everything, George, surrounding the investigations, there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. But again, the president does have that prerogative.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you referring there to the fact that on Wednesday, several independent groups asked the U.S. attorney, asked Preet Bharara to investigate whether the Trump organization and President Trump were in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution that there were conflicts of interest?
CUMMINGS: Yeah, I think that, again, what has been happening is that there is an air of distrust that has been brought on by President Trump himself and so many others. We have over and over again heard things that have been just proven to be untrue. And,, so I think that, in part, the president has created this situation for himself. But yes, sure. No doubt about it. When they asked about Emoluments clause and possible violations of it and the U.S. Attorney’s relationship to that, I think perhaps that had perhaps something to do with it.
President Trump has the power to fire US attorneys. The firing itself was not unprecedented or a violation of the law. It is the potential reason why this one US attorney was fired that is raising questions.
Rep. Cummings (D-MD) isn’t the only person who is questioning Trump’s motives.
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch tweeted:
Wednesday, Bharara received this letter to investigate Trump
Thursday, Trump tried to call him (you know why)
Today, Bharara was fired pic.twitter.com/sm304hRIqr
— Loretta Lynch (@IorettaIynch) March 12, 2017
Because President Trump has not taken the proper steps to separate himself from his businesses, he has set himself up for years of conflict of interest questions, and potential corruption investigations. There are many potential areas worthy of an investigation into this president, but Trump’s conflicts of interest aren’t going away, and if he is violating the Constitution, that is an impeachable offense.