Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Tuesday morning that it would be “suicide” for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump wondered aloud about that possibility Monday night, as he spoke extemporaneously for several minutes on the “witch hunt” Mueller’s probe had become, in his eyes, in light of raids on his personal attorney Michael Cohen’s home, office and hotel. Mueller’s team didn’t actually carry out the raids: FBI agents working with the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York — whom Trump personally interviewed for the job — did.
“I think it would be suicide for the President to fire him,” Grassley said in a brief interview clip aired on CNN. “I think the less the President says about this whole thing, the better off he will be. And I think that Mueller is a person of stature and respected and I respect him. Just let the thing go forward.”
Grassley made the same comment, nearly word for word, to Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo a couple hours earlier.
“I have confidence in the Mueller, the President ought to have confidence in Mueller,” Grassley said. “And I think to answer your question, it would be suicide for the President to want— to talk about firing Mueller. The less the President said on this whole thing, the better off he would be, the stronger his presidency would be.”
Grassley added, perhaps in an attempt to communicate directly with the President, that Mueller “would appreciate being fired so he would have an excuse for getting out of [the probe],” which Grassley said “looks like a dead end,” in terms of evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.
Democrats, he said, would “have a good issue in this upcoming election” if Trump fired Mueller.