President Trump is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, White House attorney Ty Cobb said Sunday evening—even after the president directly lashed out at Mueller’s probe during the weekend, reports CNBC news.
The lawyer’s assurance wasn’t likely to assuage concerns that the president would act against the special counsel, however. On Monday, Trump continued his social-media onslaught against the Mueller probe by again calling it a “witch hunt.”
Over the weekend, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire.
McCabe alleged that the action was an attempt to slander him and undermine the ongoing special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign.
McCabe said he was being targeted because he was a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia and asserting that his actions were appropriate.
“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,” he continued, adding that the campaign “highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”
Sessions said that both the Justice Department inspector general and the FBI office that handles discipline had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
President Trump tweeted that McCabe “knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!” Michael Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney, said he had “never before seen the type of rush to judgment — and rush to summary punishment.”
Simultaneously on Saturday afternoon, John Dowd, President Trump’s lawyer, asked the Justice Department to shut down the special counsel probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election immediately, the Washington Post reports. Dowd said the investigation led by Robert Mueller was fatally flawed early on and “corrupted” by political bias.
He called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to end it, who oversees that probe, to shut it down. Dowd first told the Daily Beast he was speaking on Trump’s behalf but then told the Post he was not.
On a twitter rampage, Trump criticized “leaking, lying and corruption” in federal law enforcement agencies, but he stopped short of echoing Dowd’s call for an end to the Mueller probe.
If Dowd’s statement reflected Trump’s legal strategy, it would represent a significant shift in the president’s approach to the Mueller investigation.
Trump’s lawyers and spokesmen have pledged that he and his staff would cooperate fully with Mueller’s probe. The White House has responded to requests for documents, while senior officials have sat for hours of interviews with the special counsel’s investigators.
This summary was prepared by TCR staffer Megan Hadley.