Schumer: Trump firing Rosenstein would spark ‘constitutional crisis’
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned President Trump on Tuesday that removing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein 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 Sessions, 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 Graham (R-S.C.) said on Tuesday, asked about potentially firing Mueller or Rosenstein.
– Katie Bo Williams contributed