There are protections that will keep President Donald Trump from firing FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, but if he goes ahead and releases the former FBI director, he would be "flirting with obstructing justice," Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Tuesday.
"In answer to the question 'why don't I just fire Bob Mueller,' what the president should have said is 'because existing Department of Justice regulations prohibit the firing of the special counsel without cause,'" the Delaware Democrat told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," referring to a comment Trump made Monday.
Coons said he and Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., have introduced a bill that will strengthen the protections already in place, and if Trump takes action that would constitute obstruction of justice, that would pose issues.
That includes taking action following raids conducted at the offices of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on Monday.
"He could move forward by firing the attorney general, and his recent tweets and statements suggest he might," Coons told Mitchell. "If he's doing it in order to obstruct the special counsel investigation, if he's doing it out of his anger at the appropriate legal actions undertaken against his attorney, the execution of a judicially approved warrant in compliance with the rule of law, then frankly he's flirting with obstructing justice."
The actions at Cohen's offices and hotel room were an "unusual and significant" step, given the importance of attorney-client privilege, Coons said, and that is how it is known the measure underwent extensive review.
"There had to be probable cause presented to that judge to believe that evidence of a crime or a fraud," said Coons, including information about how it could affect Trump and Cohen's attorney-client privileges.
Coons also discussed Trump's call for action following Saturday's suspected chemical weapons attack, saying he believes Syria President Bashar Assad was encouraged to conduct the murderous attack against his own people after Trump said the United States should be withdrawing its troops from that country.
He said he did support Trump's decision to take action against Assad last year, but he is concerned because the American people "don't have a clear the American people don't have a clear sense of where and why Americans are engaging in military action."
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