For months, there has been talk among the liberal media and Democrats that President Donald Trump is on the verge of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, despite repeated statements to the contrary from Trump himself.
In recent weeks, that suspicion of imminent termination by Trump has been extended to include Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, partly because of his appointment of Mueller and his role in overseeing the investigation into alleged Russian election interference.
But there are also some voices on the right fueling that media suspicion. These voices are calling for Rosenstein to be fired, in part because of Mueller, but also because of his suspected involvement in several Obama administration scandals, specifically the one related to the approved Russian purchase of Uranium One.
One of those demanding that Rosenstein be cut loose is Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, who told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on Monday that the deputy AG should be impeached and asked to step down, or fired if he declines to leave willingly.
“Rosenstein could very well be under investigation,” Gohmert stated, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “There is a full investigation into Uranium One, which he supervised. Which he soft-peddled to allow (former Secretary of State) Hillary (Clinton) to get her colleagues to approve the sale of uranium to Russia through Uranium One. So I have no problem with impeaching Rosenstein.”
“He is a problem. He needs to step down,” Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, continued. “But he is not going to because he’s got to cover for himself, and for Mueller in the uranium investigation.”
Gohmert suggested that a significant portion of the American people are ready to see corrupt bureaucrats punished for their actions, and indicated that such punishments would be more than mere contempt of Congress resolutions but actual prison terms instead.
“Let me make clear. This would not be like a contempt under (former House Speaker John) Boehner,” Gohmert said. “You have to vote on contempt … but then you take it to court, and you get a judge to put people in jail if that is what is necessary, to enforce the contempt. And I think people are ready to do that now.”
While it is true that many people are ready for corrupt bureaucrats to be held accountable, there are also plenty who don’t believe Rosenstein is one of those in dire need of punishment.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy pushed back against the idea that Trump should fire Rosenstein, who has been under fire for the reported role he played in authorizing a recent FBI raid on the home and office of Trump attorney Michael Cohen, which stemmed from a referral from Mueller.
“I don’t see a basis for firing him in the handling of this probe,” Gowdy said of Rosenstein, according to Politico.
However, while Gowdy doesn’t see any particular reason why Rosenstein should be fired at this point, that doesn’t mean he thinks Trump lacks the authority to do so if he wishes.
Gowdy said the president “doesn’t have to run hiring and firing decisions by” Congress. At the same time, Gowdy would nevertheless advise against such a course of action.
“Does (Trump) have the power to get rid of Rod Rosenstein? Yes he does. Do I think it’s wise? I don’t,” Gowdy said.
There is no doubt a plethora of current and former government officials who should face some sort of accountability for their past actions and behaviors, but whether Rosenstein is a part of that collective remains up for debate.
It’s clear that Trump has the authority to fire whoever he wants within the executive branch. But given the broad ramifications of such an action, it would probably be best to wait until a readily apparent reason for termination has presented itself, one that can’t be picked apart and argued endlessly by partisans on both sides.
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