Sen. Jeff Flake, R- Ariz. said he would support impeaching President Donald Trump if he were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller “without cause.”
Flake told The Washington Post the president firing Mueller would “force the Congress to take the only remedy that Congress can take.”
“We’re begging him: ‘Don’t go down this road. Don’t create a constitutional crisis. Don’t force the Congress to take the only remedy that Congress can take,’” said the senator.
Flake likened a firing of Mueller by Trump to President Richard Nixon’s infamous canning of the special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.
“If [Trump] fires [Mueller] without cause, how different is that from what Nixon did with the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’?” the Arizonan asked. “He left before impeachment came, but that was the remedy then and that would be the remedy now.”
Flake’s comments to The Post came following a series of tweets on Sunday, in which Trump wrote negatively about Mueller and the Russia investigation.
“The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” Trump tweeted. “It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”
In another tweet, the president questioned the impartiality of Mueller’s team, noting it is made up of Democrats.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated during a news briefing on Tuesday that the president has no intention of firing Mueller, but his tweets represent his frustration with the Russia probe.
She pointed out it has gone on the president’s entire first year in office and netted thus far no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Sanders said any politician would get frustrated under similar circumstances with the ongoing attempt to de-legitimatize his election win.
White House lawyer Ty Cobb emphasized the same message in a statement released on Monday: “In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
The Post reported that Flake is considered a likely Republican challenger to Trump in 2020 and was recently in New Hampshire speaking at Saint Anselm College, site of previous presidential campaign debates.
Last fall, Flake announced he would be retiring after this term, with polling showing him having the lowest approval rating of any senator up for re-election in 2018.
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