More than 40 former U.S. attorneys and Republican officials signed two separate letters to President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE on Friday warning the president against impeding special counsel Robert Mueller or his investigators.
One letter, signed by 22 former U.S. attorneys representing every administration dating back to President Nixon's, urges Trump to allow Mueller's team to conclude its investigation free from "fear of reprisal."
"We understand just how critical it is to the interests of justice and public trust to ensure that those charged with conducting complex investigations are allowed to do their jobs free from interference or fear of reprisal," the attorneys wrote. "That is why we were gratified by your statement on Sunday that you do not intend to seek the removal of Special Counsel Robert Mueller."
"Seeking his removal would have severe repercussions for Americans’ sense of justice here at home and for our reputation for fairness around the world," the letter adds.
A separate letter organized by former Bush administration ethics lawyer Richard Painter is signed by 20 former Republican lawmakers and administration officials. They urge Trump, lawmakers and the American people "to support the work of Special Counsel Mueller to its conclusion, whatever it may be.”
The letter also warns Trump against attempts to remove Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE or Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE in order to force Mueller's firing.
"Our concerns include not only firing Mueller, but other efforts to impair his work. For example, any attempt to remove the Deputy Attorney General or the Attorney General in order to replace them with individuals who would impede the Special Counsel's activity must be rejected," the letter from former GOP officials reads.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fought back against reports that the president was considering removing the special counsel in an interview with Fox News on Thursday.
“For the one-thousandth time, we have no intentions of firing Bob Mueller,” Sanders said.