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Andrew C. McCarthy: Would Mueller indict Trump for 'attempting' to fire Mueller?


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SOURCE: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/andrew-c-mccarthy-would-mueller-indict-trump-for-attempting-to-fire-mueller
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Summary

A president either fires someone or he doesn’t.Actually, there are at least three problems with trying to inflate Trump’s spasms of anger over Mueller into an obstruction felony.First, the president has constitutional authority to fire subordinate officials, including prosecutors, with or without cause. It is up to the president, not the Justice Department or the FBI, to decide what intelligence the nation needs.Now, about that “exception” I referred to, above: I am reluctant to state categorically that a counterintelligence investigation could never be obstructed because, as we’ve seen in Russia-gate, these investigations sometimes involve seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Pace the meanderings of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who recently told "60 Minutes" that he believed the president’s firing of Director Comey may have been obstruction because it could have negatively impacted the FBI’s Russia investigation, the counterintelligence investigation of Russia actually belongs to the president, not the FBI. If what was underway was a counterintelligence investigation – which is how Comey described it in March 2017 House testimony, and how Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reaffirmed it when he appointed Mueller on May 17, 2017 – then a president could not obstruct such a probe by removing the official running it, or even shutting it down. There is no attempt or endeavor to obstruct because there has been no meddling in the proceeding at all.Now, the president has many advisers, the White House counsel being among the most important. Besides that, a directive to fire a prosecutor that was never delivered – that, in effect, was withdrawn before it was ever communicated to the prosecutor – would have no bearing at all on a proceeding, much less corruptly obstruct it … even if that proceeding was an “official” one capable of being obstructed under federal law, which an FBI counterintelligence investigation is not.Other than that, it’s a great theory.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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