Sanders: 'I'm very concerned' Trump could fire Mueller

Sanders: 'I'm very concerned' Trump could fire Mueller
© Camille Fine

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersPoll: Gillum leads DeSantis by 5 points in Florida governor race Sanders: Kavanaugh accusers 'have risked their lives to come forward' Helping citizens unite in post-Citizens United America MORE (I-Vt.) said on Sunday that he is "very concerned" that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Dems playing destructive 'con game' with Kavanaugh Several Yale Law classmates who backed Kavanaugh call for misconduct investigation Freedom Caucus calls on Rosenstein to testify or resign MORE could move to fire special counsel Robert Mueller amid the investigation into Russia's election meddling. 

"To attack his integrity in order to protect the president is unacceptable. Furthermore, it is equally unacceptable for the president or any of his advisers to be thinking about granting pardons to those people who pled guilty," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." 

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The senator also warned that the president could provoke a "constitutional crisis" by granting pardons to those who have already been indicted as part of the investigation. 

Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDem warns Trump: 'Obstruction of justice' to fire Rosenstein Ex-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report Former White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report MORE, and Manafort's business associate, Richard Gates, were both charged with conspiracy against the U.S. in October, while former campaign aide George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFlynn sentencing move spurs questions about duration of Mueller probe Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation Trump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe MORE pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. 

The president's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to the FBI about his foreign contacts.  

Sanders's comments come as speculation swirls over whether the president will fire Mueller in the middle of the federal probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling. 

The president and the White House have dismissed speculation that Mueller would be fired, but Trump has ripped the probe, calling it a "witch hunt." 

Republicans have also criticized the probe, citing text messages that were critical of Trump from FBI agent Peter Strzok during the campaign. 

Strzok has since been taken off of Mueller's probe. 

A number of Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), have urged the president not to fire Mueller, however. 

“He’s the best hope for giving us a product that the largest number of Americans can accept as credible,” Gowdy said.