Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted Monday that it will be "useless" for President Donald Trump to fire the special counsel looking into possible ties between his administration and Russia.
Schiff's tweet came after Newsmax CEO and Trump friend Christopher Ruddy said earlier Monday that Trump might be considering firing Robert Mueller, who is heading the probe in the wake of Trump's firing FBI Director James Comey a month ago.
If he does, Congress would simply re-appoint him Schiff said in a tweet.
Schiff elaborated on the tweet in an interview Monday night with CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."
If Mueller is fired by Trump, Schiff said, Congress will simply re-establish the independent counsel law and put Mueller in the position. Mueller was named to the current independent counsel role by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is in charge of the Russia probe.
Republicans control both houses of Congress, but Schiff said he believes they would agree to bringing back the independent counsel law if for no other reason than they would face pressure from their constituents.
"At some point, Republicans have to stand up and speak and act in favor of our system of checks and balances," Schiff said.
American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan told CNN that the White House was in "mass hysteria" over the possibility of Trump firing Mueller, but later reports from CNN's Jim Acosta indicated that Trump is being advised "from all sides" not to take such action.
Multiple media outlets reported that Ruddy was seen leaving the West Wing of the White House earlier in the day.
Ruddy did not state nor imply he discussed the matter with the president. In later press reports he indicated he was aware of the matter from White House sources.
Ruddy's comments came on the heels of the president's own attorney, Jay Sekulow, who made similar comments, claiming the president was still weighing the option of terminating Mueller.
Ruddy, who has consistently said he speaks for himself, told "PBS NewsHour" host Judy Woodruff that he had spoken with Trump last week.
White House Deputy Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Ruddy "speaks for himself" and not the administration.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said on "Anderson Cooper 360" that should Trump choose to fire Mueller the job would actually fall to Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who just appointed Mueller in mid-May to take over the Russia probe in the wake of Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Rosenstein could refuse and leave the job to someone down the hierarchy, since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself on the Russia probe, he said.
"Rosenstein may have to recuse himself because Rosenstein was involved with the firing of Comey," said New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza. "He met with Trump the day before it happened. He's a witness if there is a an on obstruction of justice case."
Schiff told CNN that Sessions and Rosenstein should resign if they are asked by Trump to fire Mueller.
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