Sanders: 'I'm very concerned' Trump could fire Mueller

Sanders: 'I'm very concerned' Trump could fire Mueller
© Camille Fine

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSen. Sanders: 'Hypocrite' Trump rants against undocumented immigrants, but hires them at his properties On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery Nikki Haley: 'Ridiculous' for UN to analyze poverty in America MORE (I-Vt.) said on Sunday that he is "very concerned" that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTom Arnold claims to have unreleased 'tapes' of Trump Cohen distances himself from Tom Arnold, says they did not discuss Trump US military indefinitely suspends two training exercises with South Korea MORE could move to fire special counsel Robert Mueller amid the investigation into Russia's election meddling. 

"To attack his integrity in order to protect the president is unacceptable. Furthermore, it is equally unacceptable for the president or any of his advisers to be thinking about granting pardons to those people who pled guilty," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." 

The senator also warned that the president could provoke a "constitutional crisis" by granting pardons to those who have already been indicted as part of the investigation. 

Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortJudge denies Manafort attempt to dismiss money laundering charge Trump is the GOP's midterm Katrina Judge denies Manafort request to suppress evidence MORE, and Manafort's business associate, Richard Gates, were both charged with conspiracy against the U.S. in October, while former campaign aide George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosSenate staffer's indictment exposes the pitifully corrupt nature of Trump-Russia probe Hillicon Valley: Deal reached on ZTE, but lawmakers look to block it | New encryption bill | Dems push Ryan for net neutrality vote | Google vows it won't use AI for weapons Trump weighing roughly a half dozen new clemency cases MORE pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. 

The president's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to the FBI about his foreign contacts.  

Sanders's comments come as speculation swirls over whether the president will fire Mueller in the middle of the federal probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling. 

The president and the White House have dismissed speculation that Mueller would be fired, but Trump has ripped the probe, calling it a "witch hunt." 

Republicans have also criticized the probe, citing text messages that were critical of Trump from FBI agent Peter Strzok during the campaign. 

Strzok has since been taken off of Mueller's probe. 

A number of Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), have urged the president not to fire Mueller, however. 

“He’s the best hope for giving us a product that the largest number of Americans can accept as credible,” Gowdy said.