Could Trump fire Mueller? It’s complicated

Could Trump fire Mueller? It’s complicated

[Ed. – So many factors to consider.]

As President Donald Trump continues to rage against the Russia investigation and hint at firing his attorney general, the rules of the game are baffling to some—including to members of Congress. Here’s an attempt to sort out the major legal questions.

Can Trump fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller directly?

Probably not, although some disagree.

So who can? Department of Justice regulations make clear that Mueller may be fired by the attorney general only for “good cause.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who serves as the acting attorney general for Mueller-related issues due to Jeff Sessions’ recusal, has made clear in congressional testimony that he’s seen nothing of the sort.

If Sessions is replaced as attorney general, then his successor would not be recused, and could either gin up good cause to fire Mueller or (more likely) rescind the good-cause requirement and then terminate him.

If Trump fires Sessions, can he install a replacement without going through the Senate confirmation process?

Almost definitely.

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