Eric M. Freedman, the Siggi B. Wilzig Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Rights, and Erwin Chemerinsky, the founding dean of UC Irvine School of Law, published the op-ed “Naming Robert Mueller as Special Counsel Isn’t Enough — Because Trump Can Get Rid of Him” on May 18 in the Los Angeles Times.
The op-ed calls for Congress to enact a new independent counsel statute and reviews the history of the original independent counsel law to illustrate the importance of having such a statute not only to investigate possible illegal actions by the president and high-ranking members of his administration but also, if warranted, to bring criminal charges.
On Wednesday, Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein announced he was appointing former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special prosecutor to take over the Justice Department investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Without the protection of the independent counsel law, however, Trump can order Rosenstein to fire Mueller, and fire Rosenstein if he refuses.
Nor is an investigation by Congress or an independent commission enough. Criminal charges, if warranted, cannot be brought unless there is a prosecutor.
Read the full op-ed on the Los Angeles Times website.