A public policy analyst agrees that President Donald Trump should fire special counsel Robert Mueller if the former FBI director fails to recuse himself from his investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona), who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, is calling on Mueller to resign, citing what he says is a conflict of interest because of Mueller's "close friendship" with fired FBI Director James Comey.
Mueller must resign, Franks said, "to maintain the integrity of the investigation into alleged Russian ties."
From a legal standpoint, Mueller should be removed or recuse himself, says former assistant district attorney Abe Hamiltion, now general counsel and public policy analyst for the American Family Association.
"I think the president has sound grounds to disqualify Mueller for a host of reasons," says Hamilton," the least of which is his personal relationship with James Comey."
There is no doubt, adds Hamilton, that at the center of the ongoing investigation is Comey himself.
"Brothers in arms: The long friendship between Mueller and Comey," reads the headline of a May story at the liberal Washington Post.
Meanwhile, fact-checking website Snopes insists the claim they are "best friends" is "mostly false" despite quotes from a former assistant FBI director who said they are close and suggested a conflict of interest is obvious.
The law codifying the special counsel would require Mueller to recuse himself, Hamilton advises, because his friendship with Comey "would likely induce partiality."
"At a minimum," Hamilton tells OneNewsNow, "the president has the legal grounds to remove him based on that alone."
Beyond that relationship, he further points out, is a conflict of interest with Rod Rosenstein, who hired Mueller.
"So you have the grounds legally, in my estimation, to put the brakes on Mueller if that is your pleasure," says Hamilton.
American Family Association is the parent organization of American Family News and news website OneNewsNow.