- According to a New York Times report, President Donald Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller in an effort to stop the investigation into his campaign’s Russia connections.
- Trump’s supporters say it doesn’t matter since Mueller was not ultimately fired.
- The law says otherwise.
President Donald Trump’s supporters are out on the defensive after The New York Times reported that last year, he tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia.
Anthony Scaramucci, the incredibly short-lived White House communications director and graduate of Harvard Law, argued on CNN that Trump’s attempt was “totally irrelevant because he actually didn’t fire Mueller.”
He didn’t do it, according to the report, because Don McGahn, the White House counsel, threatened to quit rather than carry out his order.
Either way, that’s just not how this works, according to Alan Rozenshtein. He’s a former attorney adviser at the Justice Department and a professor of law at the University of Minnesota.
“This is relevant to an obstruction investigation because it shows a pattern of behavior,” Rozenshtein told Business Insider in an email. “It would be relevant in establishing that Trump acted with ‘corrupt intent’ in firing” James Comey, the former FBI director, “which would be required for an obstruction charge.”
And that’s not all we can gather from this from The New York Times’s bombshell report, according to Rozenshtein. Here are the rest of the points he laid out in his email:
- Shows how out of control this President is. He’s only being held in check by resignation threats-and note that in his first year alone, his AG, his deputy AG, his FBI direction, and his WH counsel have all threatened to resign.
- It puts pressure to pass legislation that would protect the special counsel’s investigation. See here.
- It shows how seriously we have to take the President’s attempts to shut down this investigation. During the campaign, critics of Trump were accused of taking him literally but not seriously. This revelation shows that we have to take the President both literally and seriously. When the President calls the investigation a “witch hunt” on Twitter, he really means it and is willing to act accordingly.
In other words, Mooch, intent matters.