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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Representing the 7th District of Washington

Democratic Reps. Demand Clarification from Speaker Ryan on House Response if President Trump Fires Robert Mueller

October 31, 2017
Press Release

SEATTLE – Today, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) wrote to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to both express public support for Robert Mueller’s investigation and explain what steps he will take in the event that President Trump fires the Special Counsel. The letter notes that Trump already dismissed FBI Director James Comey in order to impede one inquiry into possible collusion by his campaign with the Russian government, and he could take the same action against Mueller following the indictment of Paul Manafort.

The absence of public pressure from Ryan and the Republican leadership, the letter argues, makes it more likely that Trump will take the extreme step of firing Mueller.

“We strongly believe that firing the Special Counsel would represent a brazen attempt by the President to shield himself and his associates from the legal consequences of the Mueller investigation. It would also provide yet more convincing evidence that his campaign was guilty of illegally coordinating with a foreign power in order to influence the results of a presidential election,” the letter said. “We therefore urge you to put partisan politics aside and issue a statement expressing your support for Mueller and clarifying what actions you will take in the event that he is dismissed or his investigation is disrupted.”      

The full text of the letter is below and the signed letter can be found here.

 

Dear Speaker Ryan: 

Following the indictment of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, we are concerned that the President may seek to dismiss Special Counsel Robert Mueller or otherwise interfere with the inquiry in order to protect himself, members of his family, or senior officials in his administration.  To deter the President from considering such an extreme step, we write to strongly urge you to issue a statement supporting Mueller’s leadership of the investigation and specifying what steps you will take in the event that the President fires him or undermines his investigation.

As you know, Mueller is leading an independent investigation into ties between the Trump-Pence campaign and the Russian government. He was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 17th following the President’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, who was conducting a separate investigation into possible collusion by high-ranking Trump-Pence campaign officials with Russia. While the Administration initially offered multiple conflicting explanations for Comey's dismissal, President Trump subsequently confirmed that Comey was forced from office in order to block the Russia probe, explaining: “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.’” 

In light of Manafort’s indictment and a June 14th report in the Washington Post that President Trump is personally under investigation for obstruction of justice by Mueller's office, we fear that he may once again seek to obstruct an investigation into his campaign by firing its leader. Already, the Administration has attempted to discredit the work of Mueller and his expert legal team, variously describing the investigation as a “fishing expedition,” a “witch hunt,” and a “hoax,” in addition to questioning its costs.      

We strongly believe that firing the Special Counsel would represent a brazen attempt by the President to shield himself and his associates from the legal consequences of the Mueller investigation. It would also provide yet more convincing evidence that his campaign was guilty of illegally coordinating with a foreign power in order to influence the results of a presidential election.  We therefore urge you to put partisan politics aside and issue a statement expressing your support for Mueller and clarifying what actions you will take in the event that he is dismissed or his investigation is disrupted.      

Thank you for your attention to this request. 

Sincerely,