On Fox, John Yoo says Trump could fire Sessions and Rosenstein for not investigating things he orders them to

On Fox, John Yoo says Trump could fire Sessions and Rosenstein for not investigating things he orders them to

Yoo, who co-wrote Bush-era memos arguing that torture was legal, says, "officials like Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, and people like that may not want to do the investigations, they may not think there's enough evidence there. And if they did, then President Trump could fire them."

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the August 31 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered Overtime:

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MOLLY LINE (GUEST HOST): I want to start with this, what might [President Donald Trump] mean by get involved, what can he do? 

JOHN YOO (FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL): President Trump can do a lot. Under the Constitution, he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. He's the one who is charged with the job to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. So if President Trump really believes there is enough evidence of wrongdoing by the Hillary Clinton campaign, GPS Fusion (sic), the Steele dossier, FISA, the FBI, former Obama officials in the NSC and the DOJ, he can order the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to start investigation. I suspect there is already one going on, investigators are not supposed to publicly talk about these kind of investigations in midcourse. So he could do that. I think that would be the most important and powerful thing he could do. Now, officials like Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, and people like that may not want to do the investigations, they may not think there's enough evidence there. And if they did, then President Trump could fire them. 

LINE: So, the president and his allies have complained rather broadly about bias within the FBI, within the Department of Justice. If the president chooses to get involved, whatever action he might take, could he run the risk of it appearing very political if he does so? 

YOO: Of course. On the other hand, the inspector general at the Justice Department and the FBI, he came out with a report saying, he saw bias in the way that the Trump campaign had been treated by the Justice Department and FBI investigators in the months leading up into the election and in the months afterward. 

So he already has some kind of factual predicate to start an investigation, if he wanted. Again, I already suspect that there already are prosecutors and FBI agents who are looking at this right now as we speak. I would be surprised if there weren't. So if I were Trump, and you really wanted to get to the bottom of this, he could do exactly what his critics are in favor of, he could appoint a special counsel parallel to Mueller and have that special counsel look at it, because it's the same kind of problem. 

Of course, FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors don't like looking at their own colleagues, their friends and former coworkers in criminal investigations, so he might need a special counsel in a case like that. 

Related:

NY TimesA Guide to the Memos on Torture

Previously:

Fox & Friends is banging the drum for another special counsel

Right-wing media figures have led Trump's purge of Department of Justice officials they perceive as threatening

The Fox propagandists urging Trump to criminally investigate Robert Mueller

Posted In
Cabinet & Agencies, The Presidency & White House, Justice & Civil Liberties
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
John Yoo
Show/Publication
Outnumbered Overtime
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