GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) announced on Tuesday that he would support impeaching President Trump if he fired special counsel Robert Mueller “without cause,” saying Congress would be left with no other choice.
“We’re begging him: ‘Don’t go down this road. Don’t create a constitutional crisis. Don’t force the Congress to take the only remedy that Congress can take,’ ” Flake told The Washington Post.
“To remind the president of that is the best way to keep him from going down that road. To fire Mueller without cause, I don’t know if there is any other remedy left to the legislative branch.”
Flake noted that Trump firing Mueller without cause would be reminiscent of President Nixon firing the special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.
“If [Trump] fires [Mueller] without cause, how different is that from what Nixon did with the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’?” Flake asked. “He left before impeachment came, but that was the remedy then and that would be the remedy now.”
“The president needs to be reminded that while there is nothing the House and the Senate can do constitutionally to prevent the president from moving forward, our remedy is on the other side. And the firing of a special prosecutor without cause will, as Lindsey Graham said, prompt that remedy,” the senator said in his interview.
Flake repeated the same message in a tweet Tuesday.
We are begging the president not to fire the special counsel. Don't create a constitutional crisis. Congress cannot preempt such a firing. Our only constitutional remedy is after the fact, through impeachment. No one wants that outcome. Mr. President, please don't go there.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) March 20, 2018
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also warned Trump on Tuesday that firing Mueller without cause would be an impeachable offense.
“I think what the president will have done is stopped an investigation in whether or not his campaign colluded with the Russians, what effect the Russians had on the 2016 campaign. I can’t see it being anything other than a corrupt purpose,” Graham said.