What happens if Trump issues pardons?

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says special counsel Robert Mueller is not a biased partisan, even as President Donald Trump has decried the investigation into ties between his campaign and Russian Federation as a witch hunt.

JOHN DICKERSON: In my conversation with the new communications director at the White House, Anthony Scaramucci he suggested that this new strategy which we've seen this week, which is to raise questions about the special counsel, Mr. Scaramucci said of the president who had, has been critical of the special counsel, quote, "Let him do it". But clearly, the president is thinking about it because he tweeted about it.

While Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt", the White House has maintained that the president won't fire Mueller, even though he has the right to do so.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and several USA congressional committees are investigating whether Russian Federation interfered in the election and colluded with Trump's campaign to try to swing the race in his favor over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Trump's continuing Twitter dressing down of Sessions and rumors Sessions and/or Mueller would be fired, were discussed. But the media, because they want the Special Counsel not only to harass the Trump administration, but to actually indict people, or try to indict people, the media is acting like the Special Counsel is sacrosanct. Using official powers for corrupt purposes, such as impeding or obstructing an investigation, can constitute a crime. Suppose (God forbid) instead, President Trump hires killers to eliminate Mr. Mueller in Washington, D.C., where a state would not have separate jurisdictional authority to prosecute this crime.

Trump also attacked Mueller on another front, one that initially seemed puzzling: the notion that the special counsel is burdened by multiple conflicts of interest. As a special counsel, Mueller is in a different position. The president's agenda would likely stall in Congress, for one thing, and a constitutional crisis could ensue.

We don't know what Rosenstein would do, but there is a strong chance that given the remarkable historical parallels and his reputation as an upstanding public servant, Rosenstein would refuse.

Towards the end of an interview with The New York Times last Wednesday, reporters asked Trump about the Russian Federation investigation.

"I think it's the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out". "They don't come any better". Rosenstein is next in the line of command at the Justice Department.

The pair of remarks led to a new round of speculation that Trump would find a way to fire Mueller. Richard Blumenthal of CT warning on "Morning Joe" that if Trump fires Mueller, it will set off an "absolute firestorm".

Even the newest member of Trump's team has given heavily to Democrats in the past. And that would send his presidency straight into another Saturday Night Massacre, the 1973 episode when President Nixon ordered his rebellious underlings to fire a special prosecutor. In doing so they've abdicated their most basic oversight responsibilities and allowed law-breaking and norm violations to accumulate so rapidly that it may take years to undo the damage.

Doyle McManus is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

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