WASHINGTON — Hundreds of former Justice Department employees have signed a petition to urge Congress to act “swiftly and forcefully” if President Trump fires leaders of the Russia probe.
The DOJ alumni say they know special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to be dedicated public servants and are “deeply disturbed” by repeated attacks on the agency’s leadership.
“It is up to the rest of us, and especially our elected representatives, to come to their defense and oppose any attempt by the president or others to improperly interfere in the department’s work, including by firing either Mr. Mueller, Mr. Rosenstein or other department leadership or officials for the purpose of interfering in their investigations,” said the petition, posted on Medium. “Should the president take such a step, we call on Congress to swiftly and forcefully respond to protect the founding principles of our Republic and the rule of law.”
As of Sunday afternoon, the petition had more than 400 signatures.
They identified themselves as alumni from the Obama, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy and both Bush administrations.
The petition comes as the president continues to lash out against Mueller and his team, especially after the FBI raided the home and office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election, and he’s blasted the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump believes he has the power to fire the special counsel, but said Sunday she’s “not aware” of any plans to do so.
“We do have some real concerns with some of the activities and some of the scope that the investigation has gone,” Sanders added on ABC’s “This Week.”
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