Top Intel Dem: Trump's order to fire Mueller was 'Nixonian'

Top Intel Dem: Trump's order to fire Mueller was 'Nixonian'
© Greg Nash

California Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump lashes out at Pelosi as she visits Jordan to discuss Syria Trump's insult-comic act enters danger zone  White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours MORE (D) on Friday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE following a report from The New York Times alleging that Trump ordered his White House counsel, Don McGahn, to fire special prosecutor Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE.

In a statement, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee warned that Trump's reported order to fire Mueller was "Nixonian" in its intent, and called on Congress to act quickly to protect the special counsel.

"The reports that the President not only considered firing Special Counsel Mueller, but went so far as to order it, demonstrate the Nixonian lengths this President is prepared to go to protect himself," Schiff wrote.

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"Congress must make clear that any effort to remove the Special Counsel or impede his work would touch off a constitutional crisis which would imperil this Presidency and do grave damage to our nation."

Schiff went on to accuse Republicans of attacking the credibility of the FBI in the face of "undue interference" from the White House in the Russia investigation.

"Instead of protecting Mueller's investigation from undue interference, many Republicans in Congress have stepped up their spurious attacks against the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Special Counsel. It is time for them to put country and rule of law before party," he said.

Democrats in Congress have renewed calls for a bill to protect Mueller and his team from firing by the White House following the Times report Thursday that claimed Trump only backed off after McGahn threatened to quit over the order.

Last June, around the time the Times says Trump gave the order, Schiff warned that Congress would simply rehire Mueller if Trump ousted him from the special counsel's office.

“If President [Trump] fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller,” Schiff tweeted last year. “Don't waste our time.”