Adam Schiff: If Trump Fires Mueller or Rosenstein It Would ‘Throw This Country into Complete Crisis
BLITZER: "You and your colleagues on the house intelligence committee have been looking into these things for about a year plus. Were aa — were you aware of the late breaking developments."
SCHIFF: "We rnt certainly weren’t given a heads up this warrant would be executed. That took everybody by surprise in Congress and clearly within the White House. But I’m not surprised that once again the president is contemplating firing rod Rosenstein or Bob Mueller. Both of those would be acts of obstruction of justice and to see him float in his tweet and otherwise the idea that he could somehow give a justification for it by pointing to Rod Rosenstein signing a FISA application or bizarrely claim that because rod Rosenstein wrote a memo that the president used as a pretext to fire James Comey, that gives him a pretempt to fire rod Rosenstein. It is bizarre. Plainly either of those actions are designed to interfere with an investigation that may implicate the president. That is obstruction of justice. And if the president goes forward with either one of these firings, he is only making the case against himself for obstruction of justice. But it deeply worries because because it would throw this country into complete crisis."
BLITZER: "It certainly would. You are a former federal prosecutor, how difficult would it be to get this kind of search warrant for the home, the hotel room, the office of the president’s long-term personal lawyer?"
SCHIFF: "It certainly be very difficult and rise to the highest levels of approvals within the Justice Department because there is such attention paid to the attorney/client privilege. But there are two reasons why they may have concluded that they could go forward here and with good reason. The first is that both the president and the lawyer Michael Cohen seem to be denying that if he made these payments as hush money that they were doing it with the knowledge of the other and clearly there is no attorney/client relationship in that act if there is no communication and it is not done under those — those auspices and this is about a crime of evading campaign finance laws and intimidation and there is a crime fraud exception that would more than justify this very unusual step. Can I make one other point on Rod Rosenstein which I think really concerns me because firing him, the president may conclude is a more sur ept tishs way to get at Robert Mueller. There are two reasons Americans should be concerned. The first is that he could secretly — any replacement of Rod Rosenstein could secretly cripple the Mueller investigation by telling Mueller you can’t follow the money and can’t investigate this or you need to wrap up that. But second and this is really lost, Rod Rosenstein will make the decision whether a report from Bob Mueller ever sees the light of day. Whether it is ever submitted to Congress for consideration of whether the president’s conduct violated the law and might rise to level of impeachable offense or whether it is even presented to the Congress. That is a very important — maybe the most important decision and the president if he tries to fire Rod Rosenstein is going to try to take away that decision and give it to someone who will simply do what he says. And that would be in my view another series act of obstruction of justice."