Schumer: Trump firing Rosenstein would spark 'constitutional crisis'

Schumer: Trump firing Rosenstein would spark 'constitutional crisis'
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Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump blasts Pelosi for wanting to leave country during shutdown The Senate should host the State of the Union Dem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown MORE (D-N.Y.) warned President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE on Tuesday that removing Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay Rosenstein5 myths about William Barr William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress 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 SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known 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 GrahamDems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell Overnight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report MORE (R-S.C.) said on Tuesday, asked about potentially firing Mueller or Rosenstein.

– Katie Bo Williams contributed