Former Attorney General Eric Holder recently weighed in on reports that President Donald Trump has considered firing Robert Mueller as the FBI’s special counsel.
“Trump cannot define or constrain Mueller investigation. If he tries to do so this creates issues of constitutional and criminal dimension,” Holder wrote on Twitter.
Holder’s comments come after the Washington Post reported earlier this week that Trump’s team of attorneys are exploring ways to “limit and undercut” Mueller’s investigation. Mueller has been tasked by the Department of Justice to lead the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference and allegations that Trump’s campaign may have colluded with Russian operatives.
Many Republicans and top Trump supporters are unhappy with Mueller’s investigation and especially unhappy with the team of lawyers Mueller has hired to assist him in the investigation, many of which have ties to Democrats.
Critics say that because of this and other factors, Mueller’s probe will not be objective.
Technically speaking, however, Holder’s tweet isn’t exactly correct. According to Business Insider, who spoke with former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal, Trump has several legal maneuvers that would help take Mueller’s heat off of him.
Trump could either instruct deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to fire or limit Mueller, or Trump could repeal a set of special counsel regulations adopted in 1999 to fire Mueller himself. Neither of these options are favorable, however, and an attempt to remove Mueller could get the ball rolling on impeachment proceedings as they are what began former President Richard Nixon’s fall, Katyal said.
Trump’s other option would be to work out a deal with Rosenstein to rein in Mueller’s power. This option is least likely to carry political ramifications.
However, many found Holder’s attempt to lecture Trump about the law pretty rich. After all, Holder was deemed responsible for “Operation Fast and Furious,” a gun-running operation that led to a Border Patrol being shot by an American firearm.
Holder was even held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the case during the course of a congressional investigation into the operation.
People were quick to remind Holder of his hypocritical past: