Ethics and Democracy

Protecting Our Democracy: Tell Trump He Can’t Fire Mueller


The attacks on our democracy under Donald Trump should worry you no matter what your political party. Donald Trump has repeatedly acted as if the rules—and the law—don’t apply to him. That’s why Indivisible has been calling for impeachment hearings for violations already committed, including obstruction of justice—Trump fired James Comey, the man charged with investigating his political campaign’s links to Russia.

Trump’s attempts to influence the Michael Flynn investigation and his subsequent firing of James Comey are a grave concern for people who care about the integrity of democratic institutions. But there is an even greater risk we must protect against: the firing of special counsel of Robert Mueller.

The Senate Intelligence Committee made clear on October 4 that they will not be investigating Trump’s obstruction of justice attempts—they’re looking to Mueller. It is now more crucial than ever to protect Mueller and his investigation.

WHO IS ROBERT MUELLER AND WHY DOES HE MATTER?

Robert Mueller is the special counsel appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He was appointed after then FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the investigation into Russian interference, was fired by Donald Trump. After immense public pressure to insulate the investigation from political interference, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to lead an independent investigation. Mueller is a Republican, respected by both sides of the aisle, who previously served as FBI director under President George W. Bush and also President Obama.

FIRING COMEY CREATED A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. FIRING MUELLER WOULD BE A CRISIS TIMES TEN.

Firing Comey was obstruction of justice, pure and simple. But firing Mueller would be far worse—because the entire reason Mueller has this job is to protect the investigation from political interference. No one is above the law, especially not the President of the United States. When President Nixon in the Saturday Night Massacre demanded the firing of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor looking into Watergate, Congress and the American people recognized that for what it was—a turning point and a crisis that would later spell the end of the Nixon presidency. Since Mueller is leading the investigation in place of someone else who was already inappropriately fired, his firing would be especially concerning.

WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?

  1. All Americans need to be clear that we will not stand for this. Indivisible is teaming up with a coalition of groups to host emergency rallies in the event that Mueller is fired. We hope that this terrible event will not come to pass—but if it does, we will all need to stand firm and make it clear that no one is above the law. Sign up to host or attend a rally here.
  2. Ask Congress to prevent Mueller from getting fired. It is the duty of Congress, as a separate co-equal branch of government, to guard against abuses of the Executive Branch. That’s why the framers of the Constitution created separation of powers. Our elected officials need to speak out and make clear that firing Mueller would be a red line that Trump must not cross. Senators can co-sponsor legislation to protect against a Mueller firing: S. 1735 led by Senators Graham and Booker, and S. 1741 led by Senators Coons and Tillis. Representatives in the House can co-sponsor H.R. 3771, led by Representatives Jones and Conyers.

SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT

Caller: Hi! I’m a constituent from [part of state] I’m calling to urge [MoC] to use every tool in the toolbox to prevent Trump from firing Special Counsel Mueller. I’m concerned he may do that, launching a constitutional crisis. Will [MoC] speak out and tell the President that firing Mueller would be a red line he must not cross?

Staffer: Thank you for your call. [MoC] is monitoring the various investigations closely and is letting them run their course.

Caller: That’s good, but it’s really important for Congress to assert its power now to prevent Trump from firing Mueller. I’d like to see [MoC] issue a clear statement on this, and co-sponsor [H.R. 3771/S. 1735 or S. 1741] to show [his/her] support for protecting Mueller and the investigation.

Staffer: We’ll take a look at that legislation.

Caller: Great, I’ll be following to see if [MoC] co-sponsors and speaks out on this.