Blumenthal: If Mueller Is Fired, I’d Lead Effort For Watergate-Style Investigation

Judiciary Committee member Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., talks to media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, after FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said reports that the President’s legal team is trying to delegitimize special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia probe, is a “standard tactic” for lawyers.

But if the digging for a conflict of interest leads to the President firing Mueller, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said he would personally lead the effort to launch an investigation.

“I am very confident that Bob Mueller is going to pursue this investigation vigorously and fairly. There will be a firestorm reaction,” he told CNN, responding to questions  about what might happen if President Donald Trump fired Mueller. “And I would lead an effort to legislate a special counsel, as was done during Watergate, perhaps appointed by a three-judge panel. Let’s remember, we’re very far from a conclusion about obstruction of justice, but there needs to be a full, fair, vigorous investigation here.”

Blumenthal said comments Trump made during an interview with the New York Times — saying it would be a “violation” if Mueller started digging into his family’s finances — “verges on potential obstruction of justice” when “combined, perhaps, with other things he’s done,” like firing former FBI director James Comey.

“Trying to draw lines, red lines or boundaries, or put certain subjects off-limits and then intimidating or threatening a prosecutor, if it’s the President of the United States, I think verges on potential obstruction of justice,” he said. “If it’s the President of the United States, with that tremendous power he has, raises very severe legal questions.”

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