Capitol Alert

‘We should be outraged’ if Trump fires special counsel, California official says

Firing Trump-Russia special counsel 'would be too reminiscent of Watergate'

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on June 13, 2017 likened the suggested firing of special prosecutor Robert Mueller to the Watergate scandal, where then-President Richard Nixon fired a special prosecutor.
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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on June 13, 2017 likened the suggested firing of special prosecutor Robert Mueller to the Watergate scandal, where then-President Richard Nixon fired a special prosecutor.

President Donald Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and reports that he is considering terminating the special counsel appointed to investigate ties between Russia’s government and Trump’s campaign, could amount to obstruction of justice and abuse of power, California’s attorney general suggested Tuesday.

“We should be outraged if there’s any signal that the president would make an attempt to fire Bob Mueller from his efforts to do the independent investigation that he was tasked to do,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. “It would be too reminiscent of Watergate...And it would truly signal that Donald Trump is going to do everything that he can do to avoid transparency.”

Becerra, the state’s former deputy attorney general and a veteran congressman who served 24 years in the House of Representatives, made the comments a day after revelations surfaced in multiple news outlets that Trump may be turning on Mueller.

Chris Ruddy, a Trump friend, suggested Monday that Trump is thinking about “terminating” Mueller. He can’t, however, fire him directly. That would be up to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who said Tuesday that he does not see good cause for firing Mueller.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, said on Twitter that even if Trump gets rid of Mueller, “Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller.”

“Don’t waste our time,” said Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence committee.

Becerra on Tuesday also underscored the importance of Congressional probes underway into Comey’s firing.

“We have to figure out why is it that someone that the president said was doing a good job was all of the sudden fired...and what role (Attorney General Jeff Sessions) may have played in that given that the attorney general recused himself from any activities that would implicate the investigations on Russian interference in our electoral process.

“It’s becoming pretty obvious that, more and more, there are individuals in government who seem to be intent on obstructing the delivery of the truth – of uncovering the facts,” Becerra added. “We should all protest against that.”

Angela Hart: 916-326-5528, @ahartreports

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