“Trump Ordered Mueller To Be Fired Last June”
I want to bring in now Robert Ray who was a former white water independent counsel. CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin. Robert Ray Mueller’s former special assistant at the DOJ. Legal analyst Laura Coates and former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti who is running for Illinois Attorney General. Thank you all for joining us this evening, this is a very important subject, big breaking news. Michael first what is your reaction to this story tonight?
…LEMON: Robert, what do you think about the President nearly firing Robert Mueller, especially when you consider the reaction when he fired James Comey?
ROBERT RAY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR AND INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: Seriously, this is a bunch of speculation and a whole with you bunch of ridiculous nonsense. I mean I understand the now supposed mosaic theory of obstruction of justice. Nobody during Watergate claimed that Richard Nixon committed obstruction of justice in firing Archibald Cox.
[23:10:02] That was not the obstruction piece. And again the notion that the President obstructs justice by firing the FBI Director or seeking to fire the special counsel, frankly, I think is not only not really news, it’s not surprising. No President — nobody likes to be under investigation. You don’t think Bill Clinton wanted to get rid of me when I was the independent counsel? I mean like news flash, hello.
LEMON: You think he ordered people to get rid of you? You don’t think that Kenneth Starr would wonder why he would order — one someone to get rid of you if he had nothing to hide.
RAY: Look the essence of judgment is understanding that, that would not have been productive to do. If the President wanted to have somebody fired, the President knows how to fire somebody. The fact that it didn’t happen frankly is the story. The story is not that he ordered it to happen. The story is that he — he made a judgment not to fire him.
LEMON: Renato go ahead.
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I have to say. I have to say — I’ve got to say I’m surprised that lawyer is saying what was just said a moment ago. The fact that somebody something didn’t succeed is completely irrelevant under criminal law. First of all.
RAY: That has nothing to do with anything. Yes that is — it that is certainly true. But that doesn’t turn that fact into the fact — into a fact leading to obstruction of justice.
MARIOTTI: Well, actually what it does is it suggests his intent. And really what I think is most informative about this is he had a desire to fire the special counsel after he already knew he was under investigation for obstruction of justice.
RAY: So what.
MARIOTTI: For firing Comey.
RAY: So what.
MARCUS: He already knew he had liability.
RAY: So what.
MARIOTTI: So what. What do you mean so what?
RAY: It’s the President of the United States. He has the absolute right to fire the FBI Director. And he has the absolute right to fire —
MARIOTTI: For corrupt purposes.
RAY: For any reason.
MARIOTTI: So — so you’re telling me if the President of the United States got — fired someone as a result of a bribe that would be lawful.
RAY: That is different. That is different.
MARIOTTI: Ok that is — that is a corrupt purpose. This is another corrupt purpose.
RAY: You guys I understand this is wishful thinking by the Democrat Party. You’re all dreaming.