Maddow: Imagine Being In The Justice Department Line Of Succession, Mueller Probe Echoes Watergate


Senator Richard Blumenthal talks with Rachel Maddow about letters sent by Senate Judiciary Democrats to the top five in the Department of Justice line of succession, asking them to promise not to interfere with or end the Mueller investigation even if ordered to do so, echoing a Watergate-era strategy.

Maddow goes through the history of Watergate and Nixon's Saturday night massacre, pointing out that if Trump tried to fire Robert Mueller, the line of succession below Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be as follows: Solicitor General Noel Francisco, Asst. AG Steven Engel, Asst. AG for national security John Demers, U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon, and finally U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox.

All five this week received a letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats asking them to publicly promise not to obstruct the Mueller investigation. "They say they want a response right away," Maddow said. "It is worth noting that the man above them, Rod Rosenstein, has made that kind of promise... We'll have to wait... Imagine being in their shoes, knowing this history... of the Saturday Night Massacre, knowing how Richardson and Ruckelshaus are viewed in history, versus how Robert Bork is viewed in history, because he is the guy who said, 'yeah I'll fire him.' Imagine being one of those Justice Department officials tonight facing this letter from 9 senators."

Sen. Blumenthal said he sent the letter because of "unconfirmed and unspecific" reports he heard which are "more and more concerning that the president may attempt to fire Bob Mueller. He tried it last June. He stopped only because his White House counsel threatened to resign."

"His tweets are increasingly erratic and extreme," Blumenthal added. "But most importantly is the fact that the investigation is coming closer and closer to Donald Trump himself. He may be interviewed shortly... There is a credible case of obstruction of justice right now against the President of the United States, and that case becomes more compelling every day. In fact, the president's actions themselves are creating that case."

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives