Graham Warns Trump of 'Holy Hell' if President Gets Rid of Sessions or Mueller
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) today warned President Trump against firing either Attorney General Jeff Sessions or special counsel Robert Mueller, saying he plans to introduce bipartisan judicial review legislation to protect the former FBI director and future special counsels.
Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that he's "100 percent behind Jeff Sessions," who's been the target of various slings from Trump over the past week, and referred to a Wednesday tweet from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa):
Everybody in D.C. Shld b warned that the agenda for the judiciary Comm is set for rest of 2017. Judges first subcabinet 2nd / AG no way
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) July 27, 2017
Graham called the tweet promising no confirmation hearing for a new attorney general this year "very chilling."
"If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay," the senator said, adding that "any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless he did something wrong."
"Right now, I have no reason to believe that Mueller is compromised. If you've got reason to believe he is compromised and shouldn't be serving as special counsel, let me know."
Graham said he's working on legislation that he plans on introducing "in the next week" with probably "all the Democrats and I hope I can get a good number of Republicans."
His bill will say that a "special counsel cannot be fired when they were empaneled to investigate the president or his team unless you have judicial review of the firing -- not just for Trump, but for any future president."
"We need a check and balance here ... I'm going to come up with statutory language to say in the case of Bob Mueller and future special counsels, if the attorney general fires that person who's been empaneled to investigate the president or their team, then judges will have to look or not the reasons stated meet the statutory definition."
BREAKING: Sen. Graham warns Pres. Trump against firing AG Sessions, and "any effort to go after" Special Counsel Mueller. pic.twitter.com/8TrIgAFhb8
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) July 27, 2017
Graham separately told CNN in the Senate office hallway that Trump "is not draining the swamp," but "what he’s interjecting is turning democracy upside down.”
"I hope the president understands that he's not in the business of drawing red lines when it comes to investigations. No president can do that," he said. "...The special counsel can't run wild either, but I see no evidence that he's doing that."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the floor of the chamber Wednesday that if Trump is "trying to pry open the office of Attorney General to appoint someone during the August recess who will fire Special Counsel Mueller and shut down the Russia investigation," Democrats "would use every tool in our toolbox to stymie such a recess appointment."
Republicans, he added, "must work with us and not open the door to a constitutional crisis during the August recess."