President Donald Trump's White House counsel has warned him that firing FBI Director Christopher Wray could lead to legal consequences for him and his administration, NBC News reported on Wednesday.
NBC's sources, who were unidentified but said to be a senior administration official with direct knowledge of the discussion and another official who was familiar with it, said that White House counsel Pat Cipollone recently led his attorneys in "strongly" advising Trump not to fire Wray. They noted that if he did so, it could create the impression that the position, which usually acts independently of the White House, is subject to a "loyalty test."
The attorneys also noted that the firing of former FBI Director James Comey raised legal issues for Trump in 2017, since he did so after pushing Comey to end a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and that dismissing Wray could be read as retaliation due to his refusal to act on the president's push to investigate Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden.
"I wouldn't take anything off the table in coming weeks" when it comes to personnel changes or presidential pardons, said the senior administration official, who added that they expect "some more fairly significant terminations in the national security or intelligence community."
The officials also said that Trump previously threatened to fire acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, whom he reportedly blames for the statements Christopher Krebs, the former official in charge of overseeing election security in the department, made denying widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
The White House declined to comment to NBC on Trump's plans for his administration's personnel.
"If the president doesn't have confidence in someone he will let you know," White House spokesman Judd Deere told the network in a statement. "We have no personnel announcements at this time."
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