President Trump insists he has no plan to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but there were more disturbing signs over the weekend that Trump’s lawyers and congressional allies are running a campaign to push Mueller out and close his investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible involvement in Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
A member of the president’s legal team has sent a letter to key lawmakers accusing Mueller’s team of illegally obtaining thousands of emails generated and stored by the Trump transition office in the weeks between the election and Inauguration Day. The messages apparently were turned over to investigators by the General Services Administration (GSA), which maintains the transition archives.
Trump’s team contends that transition records are not government documents and so GSA has no authority to turn them over. Mueller’s office has released a statement denying any wrongdoing, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s work, gave Mueller’s a public vote of confidence last week.
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Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill and on Fox News and other pro-Trump media outlets, presidential allies are pushing charges that the Mueller’s probe is irredeemably biased and tainted by partisanship.
“The only thing that remains is whether we have the fortitude to not just fire these people immediately, but to take them out in cuffs,” Fox host Jeanine Pirro, a Trump favorite said on her Friday broadcast.
“This bias is like an infection,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL, said Friday on Fox Business Channel. “It’s like an incurable cancer that’s inoperable, and we’ve got to end this Mueller probe.”
Mueller has dismissed a senior member of his investigative team, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, after discovering emails critical of Trump that Strzok exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair. Page earlier resigned from the investigative team, reportedly for unrelated reasons.
Trump’s lawyers are scheduled to meet with Mueller’s team this week for an update on the progress of the investigation. The president reportedly has told friends he expects to receive a letter from Mueller soon, clearing him of any wrongdoing, but Democrats are warning that Mueller could be fired later this week, after lawmakers have recessed for the holidays.
Office: Common Cause National