Special Counsel Robert Mueller is the “tip of the deep state spear,” according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — but neither he, conservative commentator Ann Coulter nor former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg think Mueller should be fired.
President Trump could fire Mueller, but the process would be complicated. The authority to fire the special counsel rests with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who has said he would not fire Mueller without good cause.
However, Rosenstein serves at the pleasure of the president and Trump could order him to fire the special counsel, and if Rosenstein refused, Trump could dismiss him and go down the chain of command until someone fires Mueller.
This would be the same process former President Richard Nixon went through in 1973 during the Watergate scandal. Trump could also just ignore the Department of Justice regulations that only give Rosenstein the permission to fire Mueller.
Saikrishna Prakash, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, told Politico, “I don’t know how a rule of the Department of Justice can limit the president’s constitutional authority.”
“My view is the president can fire the special prosecutor without regard to what the rule says,” Prakash added.
The reasoning behind Trump firing Mueller lays with the special counsel’s scope to investigate anything for an indefinite period of time, and allegations that he is part of the “deep state.” Mueller, a registered Republican, has also hired at least seven Democratic donors to be a part of his legal team.
“I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters. Some of them worked for Hillary Clinton. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous, if you want to know the truth, from that standpoint,” Trump told Fox News in a June interview.
The White House subsequently said that President Trump has “no intention” of firing Mueller, but retains the ability to do so.
Trump’s friend Chris Ruddy had said prior that Fox interview that Trump has considered firing Mueller. A Trump confidant later told The Daily Caller that this was done as part of an effort to convince the president that firing Mueller would not be a good decision, as Ruddy said, “I personally think it would be a significant mistake.”
Although other Trump allies don’t think much of Mueller. Former House Speaker Gingrich has tweeted that Mueller is the “anti-Trump special counsel,” and represents the “tip of the deep state spear aimed at destroying or at a minimum undermining and crippling the Trump presidency.”
This tweet came after it was reported by The Washington Post that Mueller is investigating whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice. It has since been reported by the Post that Mueller is also looking into Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s business dealings. CNN also reported that the special counsel plans to investigate emails released by Donald Trump Jr. Tuesday that reveal he was open to receiving information from the Russian government.
Gingrich, however, told The Daily Caller Tuesday that “no” he doesn’t think Trump should fire Mueller. He went on to write in an email that the “more we know about the manipulations by Comey and the lawyers hired by Mueller the less reasonable this witch hunt is,” but that firing Mueller “would be counterproductive.”
“We should just keep the focus on the total bias of the effort so it is discredited,” Gingrich added.
Likewise, Coulter is no fan of Mueller but thinks it is “too late” to fire him.
“I think Mueller is a disaster not because Trump has done anything wrong, but because special counsels are unelected, unaccountable roving perjury traps,” Coulter said in an email to TheDC. She said that the Trump administration should learn a lesson from his appointment and hire a “non-swamp attorney” as attorney general and “move Sessions” to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Coulter wrote that she loves “Sessions more than any government official besides the emperor god Trump, but Sessions made a mess of things by making Rosenstein his deputy.”
One Trump ally who thinks the president should fire Mueller is long-time adviser Roger Stone. He has called the investigation a “witch hunt,” like Trump tweeted, and has said multiple times that Mueller and Rosenstein should both be fired.
A former Stone protege, Sam Nunberg, who previously served as an adviser to Trump told TheDC Tuesday that it isn’t the time “yet” to fire Mueller. Nunberg said Trump should wait until Mueller’s investigators “do something stupid.”