Bernie Sanders has a stark warning for Donald Trump — messing with the Mueller probe could lead to his impeachment.
On Monday, Trump ordered and received the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump had long criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, with Trump saying frequently that he would have never hired Sessions had he known of the recusal. Trump’s firing of Sessions has led to fears that he could now try to stymie the Russia investigation, but Bernie Sanders said that would not be tolerated.
As the Hill reported, Sanders made it clear that any action to stop an investigation looking into his own campaign would be seen as obstruction of justice.
“President Trump must allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to continue unimpeded,” Sanders tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “Any attempt by the president or the Justice Department to interfere with Mueller’s probe would be an obstruction of justice and impeachable offense.”
It is not yet clear what Sessions’ firing will mean for the Russia probe. As NBC News reported, the interim Attorney General has already lashed out against the Mueller investigation in the past. Matthew Whitaker, who served as chief of staff for Jeff Sessions since last year, wrote an op-ed in which he floated the idea of thwarting the investigation by cutting off its funding.
The appointment has sounded alarms among some former Justice Department officials who are worried that it may be Trump’s attempt to thwart Mueller.
“If he was selected because he doesn’t think it’s an appropriate investigation, then I’m deeply concerned,” Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney and general counsel at the FBI, told NBC News.
The statement from Bernie Sanders is a change of tone considering he had previously chided Democrats for too freely speaking about impeaching Donald Trump. In an interview in April, he said it was a “gift to Republicans” when people like Nancy Pelosi threatened to impeach Trump, believing that loose threats would only energize Republican voters.
“You can’t jump the gun and determine that somebody should be impeached when you’re going to be voting on the impeachment issue,” he said (via Hill).
“So, I think you allow the Mueller investigation to do its course. You fight against anybody who wants to impede that investigation. But I think it is too early to talk about impeachment.”
Now that seven months have passed and Donald Trump has taken concrete steps that could interfere with the Russia investigation, he issued impeachment threats of his own.