How Mueller Can Protect the Investigation—Even if He Is Fired

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Visiting Professor Corey Brettschneider wrote an op-ed for Politico about how special counsel Robert Mueller could still pursue his Trump-Russia investigation even if he gets fired by President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump has been hinting that he might try to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible criminal wrongdoing related to Russian election interference and matters related to it, such as the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

Although Trump claims he can fire Mueller directly, many legal scholars disagree. They contend that a special counsel can only be subject to firing for a valid legal reason by the attorney general, and since Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, Mueller’s fate would fall to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

If Rosenstein wanted to stop Mueller, he could claim that the Clinton and Nixon OLC memos remain Justice Department policy and that Mueller is bound by them. But it is more likely that Rosenstein does have the authority to reject the findings of the memos and to support a decision to indict the president.

 

Read full op-ed.

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