Senate Democrats warn Trump against firing special investigator

Doing so could trigger a constitutional crisis not since the 1970s Watergate scandal

US President Donald Trump(Photo: CNN)
US President Donald Trump(Photo: CNN)

Senior members of the US Democratic Party have warned President Donald Trump against firing or interfering with the work of the special counsel investigating alleged Russian involvement in the US election. Trump has consistently denied any such sollusion.

On Friday, Trump declassified a memo, written by Republicans, which accuses the FBI of abusing its powers, adding that it revealed a disgraceful story. The FBI had warned against the memo's release and said key facts had been omitted.

Having already fired former FBI director James Comey, while he was investigating allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, Democrats have warned that another firing could lead to a constitutional crisis.

The memo, accuses the FBI and the justice department of using an unsubstantiated and Democrat-funded report to obtain the warrant that gave permission to spy on Carter Page, one of Trump’s aides.

Democrats say the memo, released on Friday, is a "shameful effort to discredit" the FBI and inquiries into Russian meddling.

"We write to inform you that we would consider such an unwarranted action as an attempt to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation," read a statement singed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Nancy Pelosi and eight other senior Democrats.

They warned Trump against trying to sack special counsel Robert Mueller or the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, adding that such action could result in a constitutional crisis not seen since the Watergate scandal.

The White House later said "no changes" would be made at the Department of Justice and that Rosenstein would continue his job.

Republicans who support the release of the memo say it exposes malpractice and political bias within the FBI and justice department. Devin Nunes, who commissioned the memo, said it showed "serious violations" of public trust and he hopes it will trigger reforms.

Not all Republicans were in favour of memo’s release however, with Senator John McCain accusing his party colleagues and Trump of playing into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Our nation's elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows," he said in a statement.

"If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin's job for him."