Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee just hinted at the constitutional crisis that will occur if Trump fires the Deputy Attorney General and the Special Counsel.
In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Rep. Schiff said:
It has become clear that President Trump believes that he has the power to fire anyone in government he chooses and for any reason, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That is not how the rule of law works, and Congress will not allow the President to so egregiously overstep his authority.
If President Trump were to try to replicate Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre by firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in addition to Mueller, Congress must unite to stop him – without respect to party, and for the sake of the nation.
Congress can defend our system of checks and balances by passing an independent counsel law that empowers an independent prosecutor to take over the Russia investigation and anything that arises from it. Such a law should allow for the reappointment of Bob Mueller, someone who has served Presidents of both parties and whom Democrats and Republicans have come to admire. We cannot allow the President to choose who will conduct this investigation or to interfere with its progress in any way.
The reality is that if Trump pulls his own Saturday Night Massacre, Republicans aren’t going to have any choice but to do something to reinstate the independent investigation. Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell will have to choose between protecting Trump now or going down with the ship in 2018.
If Trump follows through on what it looks like he wants to do, he will set off a constitutional crisis the likes of which hasn’t been seen in more than four decades. If Trump doesn’t stop meddling with the investigation, there is a constitutional crisis with his name on it waiting to happen.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association