Hundreds of “proud alumni of the United States Department of Justice,” who served under multiple administrations, have signed a petition to protect special counsel Robert Mueller, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other Justice Department officials from getting fired by “the President or others.”
In a letter posted on Medium, the group said they were “deeply disturbed by the attacks” that President Donald Trump and many of his allies have levied against the Justice Department and Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Not only is it an insult to their public service, but any attempt to corrupt or undermine the even-handed application of the rule of law threatens the foundation of our Republic,” the 500-plus former officials said in the letter.
“We know the people who serve at the Department will bravely weather these attacks and continue to uphold their oaths by doing only what the law dictates,” the letter continued. “Should the President take such a step, we call on Congress to swiftly and forcefully respond to protect the founding principles of our Republic and the rule of law.”
The letter follows the introduction of legislation last week, sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, that would shield Mueller from termination as he conducts his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign.
On Monday a House Democrat, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) on CNN pushed for the legislation to move to the House floor for a vote in order to force Trump’s hand in making “a real decision rather than benefitting from members saying what they are or are not going to do.”
Some Republicans have been just as forceful in their attempts to warn Trump against making such a move. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said last week it would be “suicide” for Trump to fire the special counsel.