CNN legal analyst: The GOP and “Republican media ... have been agitating for the president to fire Mueller”

Jeffrey Toobin: “If the president wants to get rid of Mueller, he's going to have to do a Saturday Night Massacre”

From the December 14 edition of CNN's New Day:

Video file

​PHIL MUDD: A couple things you're looking at here. First, if you think of the inspector general, remember the inspector general is looking at [the FBI's handling of investigations during the 2016 presidential campaign]. These are independent individuals, the inspectors general, who do not report to the FBI director. So when they conduct an investigation of whether there's wrongdoing within the staff on the Mueller team, they can do whatever they want. 


You can expect not only that the inspector general is looking at this with a pretty tight focus, but also that there will be recommendations to the Department of Justice and the FBI about action against the individuals involved. I'd expect some discipline, Alisyn. 

CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): Well, we've already seen some. And [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein shared your apprehension yesterday, Phillip Mudd, because he seemed to lean on that: Well, you want to know my thoughts about Comey? I already put them out in my memo. Concerns about Comey, you've got the inspector general looking into it. He seems satisfied with that. He seems satisfied that the Russia probe was not tainted. And he seems satisfied that Bob Mueller is beyond reproach. 

JEFFREY TOOBIN: You know, there was a subtext to the whole hearing, which is the Republican Party, especially Republican media, Fox News and company, have been agitating for the president to fire Mueller. That drum beat is rising in the Republican Party. Rod Rosenstein is Mueller's superior. Trump can't fire Mueller. Only he can direct Rosenstein to fire Mueller. What was clear from yesterday is that Trump is going to have to fire Rod Rosenstein. 


If the presidents wants to get rid of Mueller, he's going to have to do a Saturday Night Massacre. He's going to have to start firing people in the Justice Department, until someone agrees to do his bidding. And that would be a political earthquake, even in the contemporary political environment.


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