Schumer: Trump firing Rosenstein would spark 'constitutional crisis'

Schumer: Trump firing Rosenstein would spark 'constitutional crisis'
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Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) warned President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE on Tuesday that removing Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE would spark a "constitutional crisis" given the Justice Department official's role overseeing the special counsel probe.

"I’d like to make something crystal clear to the president: Mr. President, any attempt to remove Rod Rosenstein will create the exact same constitutional crisis as if you fired special counsel [Robert] Mueller," Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.

Rosenstein is back in the spotlight after the FBI raided the office of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, based in part on a referral from Mueller's team. Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, personally approved the search, according to The New York Times.

Schumer noted his comments on Tuesday were sparked by reports detailing Rosenstein's role.


"For the sake of our country, we plead with you. Don’t put this country through a constitutional crisis. ... The rule of law is paramount in this country. No man, not even the president, is above it," he said.

Trump has lashed out repeatedly since news of the raid broke Monday afternoon, calling it a "disgrace." He also repeatedly criticized Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 Next attorney general must embrace marijuana law reforms MORE, who recused himself from the Russia investigation last year.

Much of the public speculation following the raid has focused on if Trump would fire Mueller. But to do so, the president would need a signoff from Rosenstein, who has previously said he doesn't see a good cause to fire Mueller. 

The Senate confirmed Rosenstein to his post in a 94-6 vote last year, with each of the six "no" votes coming from Democrats.

"I think it would be an end to his presidency from the political chaos," GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSpokesperson says Tennessee Democrat made 'poor analogy' in saying South Carolina voters have extra chromosome Former Graham challenger Jaime Harrison launches political action committee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE (R-S.C.) said on Tuesday, asked about potentially firing Mueller or Rosenstein.

– Katie Bo Williams contributed