The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is warning President Donald Trump that firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be political “suicide.”
“It would be suicide for the president to want, to talk about firing Mueller,” Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said in an interview on Fox Business on Tuesday.
“The less the president says on this whole thing, the better off he would be, the stronger his presidency would be,” he said.
Trump is reportedly fuming over an FBI raid carried out Monday against his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. FBI agents stormed Cohen’s Manhattan office, his residence and a hotel where he was staying in search of documents related to payments made to Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Cohen is under investigation for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations related to a $130,000 payment he made to Daniels in October 2016. Cohen’s attorney said that the search warrants were approved based on a referral from Mueller, who is conducting a sprawling investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (RELATED: FBI Raids Office Of Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen)
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly signed off on the warrants, granting approval to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan to oversee the investigation.
Trump criticized both Rosenstein and Mueller in comments to the press after the raids were reported.
“Why don’t I just fire Mueller? Well, I think it’s a disgrace,” he said at the White House. “We’ll see what happens. I think it’s disgraceful and so does a lot of other people. This is a pure and simple witch-hunt.” (RELATED: Trump On Firing Mueller: ‘We’ll See What Happens’)
Grassley says that ending the special counsel’s probe would likely backfire on Trump. If Trump were to act, it would give Democrats an issue to run on in the 2018 midterms. Ending the investigation would also give Mueller a lifeline to exit the collusion probe, which Grassley says he believes has come to “a dead end.”
Grassley’s committee is one of three congressional panels investigating Russia-related activities during the 2016 campaign.
“And I think that maybe Mueller coming to a dead end as far as collusion of Trump with Russia in this election — and it looks like a dead end — maybe Mueller would appreciate being fired so he would have an excuse for getting out of it, and the Democrats would have a good issue in this upcoming election,” Grassley said.
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