Former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush Richard Painter has spoken out about the latest round of Trump’s disparaging comments against Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into possible Trump team collusion with Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election.
Trump, in a recently released interview with the New York Times, said that Mueller ought to stay away from investigating him and his family’s personal finances. Trump offered crossing that “line” as something that may prompt him to seek Mueller’s dismissal from office. NYT reporter Michael Schmidt asked Trump:
‘If Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?’
Trump said yes, it is very much a “red line,” which Schmidt followed up by asking “if he was outside that lane, would that mean he’d have to go?”
To this Trump replied:
‘I can’t, I can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen.’
Here’s the thing — it is happening. The Special Counsel’s office is, in fact, looking into Trump’s personal finances and personal business dealings with Russia.
Does that mean Trump might fire Mueller?
Trump’s lawyers have also spoken against Mueller looking into the Trump family’s personal finances. For instance, far right political hack turned presidential lawyer Jay Sekulow said:
‘The [investigation’s] scope is going to have to stay within [Mueller’s] mandate. If there’s drifting, we’re going to object. They’re talking about real estate transactions in Palm Beach several years ago. In our view, this is far outside the scope of a legitimate investigation.’
Sure, Trump shied away from explicitly stating that he would fire Mueller in the recently released New York Times interview, but he was startlingly open to the possibility, and this has a lot of people worried, including Richard Painter.
On Twitter this Wednesday, Painter wrote:
‘Congress must make it very clear: Bye-bye Mueller, bye-bye Trump. Otherwise bye-bye Congress 2018. Americans are fed up!’
Congress must make it very clear: Bye-bye Mueller, bye-bye Trump.
Otherwise bye-bye Congress 2018. Americans are fed up!
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) July 20, 2017
He’s definitely right that Americans are fed up, with a majority of us actively disapproving of the job that Trump is doing in office. With Republicans in control of the Congress, it remains to be seen if Congress would pursue an impeachment case against the president if the opportunity presented itself.
Check out what Twitter thinks of Painter’s call to impeach Trump below.
Featured Image via Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images