WH counsel threat to resign prevented Mueller firing

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26 Jan 2018, 1:54 am

Trump-Russia inquiry: President 'tried to fire Robert Mueller'

Quote:
US President Donald Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June, only to back down when his own White House lawyer threatened to resign, US media claim.

White House counsel Donald McGahn said the sacking would have a "catastrophic effect" on the presidency, the New York Times reports.

Special Counsel Mueller learned of his near-dismissal in recent months, while his team interviewed past and present White House officials, the New York Times reports.
As speculation mounted that Mr Mueller could be building an obstruction case against the president, Mr Trump allegedly argued that the special counsel had three conflicts of interest that should stop him heading the inquiry.

These were said to be:
That Mr Mueller abandoned his membership of the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia in 2011, over a fee dispute
That Mr Mueller could not be impartial as he had worked for a law firm that previously acted for Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law
That the investigator had been interviewed to return to his former job as FBI director the day before he was appointed special counsel in May 2017
The White House did not immediately comment on the New York Times report, which cited four unnamed sources.

A later story in the Washington Post cited two people familiar with the episode.


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