Booker says Mueller firing would be 'constitutional crisis'

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents Judd Gregg: The collapse of the Senate Dems engage in last-ditch effort to block Kavanaugh MORE (D-N.J.) on Friday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE could cause a “constitutional crisis” with efforts to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

“It’s a big deal because that effort or that thought about doing so would really plunge our country into a constitutional crisis,” Booker said in an interview on “CBS This Morning.”

“To fire the special prosecutor, especially after the fact pattern we’re seeing about the firing of the FBI director, really presents a problem for our nation as a whole to have an unaccountable president … actively undermining an ongoing investigation into his administration and his campaign, where a number of close allies and associates have already faced indictment,” Booker continued.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump attempted to fire Mueller last June, but backed off after White House counsel Don McGahn refused Trump’s order and threatened to quit.

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Trump reportedly said Mueller had conflicts of interest in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, including a dispute over fees at Trump’s National Golf Club in Virginia and Mueller’s previous employment at a law firm that represented Trump’s son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers Five takeaways from Manafort’s plea deal MORE, according to the Times.

Trump also reportedly considered removing deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE, the Justice Department's second-highest official, and appointing Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand to oversee Mueller's team of prosecutors, but that option also never materialized.

Congressional Democrats quickly seized on the report to accuse Trump of what they say is obstruction of justice, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) responded to the report by calling for the Senate to take up bills aimed at protecting Mueller from being fired.

The Times's report comes one day after Trump said he would be willing to be interviewed by Mueller.

Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that he is "looking forward" to the opportunity to sit down with Mueller.

Trump also mocked critics who have accused him of obstructing the Russia probe by attacking the investigations and referring to them as a “witch hunt.”

“You fight back, oh, it’s obstruction,” Trump mockingly told reporters.