Tags: Donald Trump | alberto gonzales | soul searching | fire | robert mueller | illegal

Ex-AG: Takes 'Soul Searching' to Determine If Call to Fire Mueller Illegal

Ex-AG: Takes 'Soul Searching' to Determine If Call to Fire Mueller Illegal
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By    |   Friday, 26 January 2018 10:23 AM

It would take some "careful soul searching" before deciding that if President Donald Trump attempted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, it could constitute a legal issue, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday.

"I would have to know, understand fully, what is the purpose behind this order," Gonzales told CNN's "New Day," while discussing a Thursday article in The New York Times claiming Trump had tried to fire Mueller last year. 

The president may have believed Mueller's investigation, initially launched to look into the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, was already heading out of control last June, shortly after the former FBI chief was appointed.

"He may truly believe that," Gonzales, who served under President George W. Bush, told CNN. "Or is this an effort to stop an investigation of possible wrongdoing? It's not as easy as simply laying out the question. I think it requires some very careful soul searching and fact-finding before making a decision as to whether or not it was wrong."

Meanwhile, Gonzales said he doesn't know if the Times' article is even true.

"I don't know whether or not President Trump actually gave an order," said Gonzales.

After show co-host Alisyn Camerota reminded him that CNN had confirmed the article, as had other multiple sources, Gonzales agreed to "just assume what's being reported is actually true."

"As to whether or not there is obstruction of justice, I would have to know the motivation behind the order of the president," said Gonzales. "Was he concerned the investigation was out of control? That the investigation itself was corrupt. Or was the order given in order to stop the the investigation of possible wrongdoing by the president himself or by senior officials in the administration or in the campaign? So there's still a lot of information we don't know."

Gonzales said he's not willing to say that if Trump attempted to fire Mueller, it could constitute obstruction of justice, as he does not know what his intent would have been.

However, he does not think, personally, that Mueller's probe is out of control.

"I have great confidence in Robert Mueller and the investigation," said Gonzales. "t's not a perfect investigation. There's some things that I think Bob Mueller would like to do over differently if given the opportunity. But I have confidence in Bob Mueller."

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Politics
It would take some "careful soul searching" before deciding that if President Donald Trump attempted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, it could constitute a legal issue, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday.
alberto gonzales, soul searching, fire, robert mueller, illegal
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2018-23-26
Friday, 26 January 2018 10:23 AM
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