One of Trump's fiercest Republican critics begs the president not to fire Mueller, threatens impeachment if he does

  • Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has long been one of President Donald Trump loudest Republican critics, is begging Trump not to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, the man leading the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
  • Flake argued that, by firing Mueller, Trump would prompt a constitutional crisis that could only be resolved through impeachment.
  • "No one wants that outcome, Mr. President, please don't go there," Flake said on Tuesday.
  • The Republican senator's comments follow those of his colleague, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who suggested in interviews on Sunday and Tuesday that firing Mueller would only make things worse for Trump.


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Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is begging President Donald Trump not to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, the man leading the investigation of Russian meddling in the US election.

Flake is one of Trump's loudest Republican critics and has repeatedly clashed with Trump through the 2016 presidential campaign and into Trump's first term term in office. Flake said in a tweet on Tuesday, "We are begging the president not to fire the special counsel. Don't create a constitutional crisis. Congress cannot preempt such a firing," Flake said.

"Our only constitutional remedy is after the fact, through impeachment. No one wants that outcome. Mr. President, please don't go there," he added.

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Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) arrives for meeting about the Republican Tax Reform package on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Sen. Jeff Flake speaks with reporters ahead of votes on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) speaks with reporters about the Senate health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
American aid worker Alan Gross (2nd R) poses after his release with L-R, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) at the airport in Havana, Cuba, December 17, 2014 in this photo tweeted by Rep. Van Hollen. The United States is planning to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba more than 50 years after they were severed, a major policy shift after decades of hostile ties with the communist-ruled island. REUTERS/Courtesy the office of Rep. Chris Van Hollen/Handout (CUBA - Tags: POLITICS) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 5: Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., listens as President Donald Trump speaks before hosting a lunch with Senate Republicans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 9: Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 09, 2018. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 30: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) looks on during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing concerning the authorizations for use of military force, October 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. As Mattis and Tillerson face questions about the administration's authority to use military force, Congress is still seeking more information about the deadly ambush that killed four U.S. troops in Niger. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill after announcing he will not seek re-election October 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Flake announced that he will leave the Senate after his term ends in 14 months. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and his wife Cheryl Flake leave the U.S. Capitol as they are trailed by reporters, October 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Flake announced that he will not be seeking re-election and he will leave the Senate after his term ends in 14 months. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 18: Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., listens as Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Full committee hearing on 'Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice' on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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Flake followed his Republican colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham, who also urged Trump not to fire Mueller during a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt earlier Tuesday.

Republicans have been sounding alarms about Trump's latest tirades against the Russia investigation which took an increasingly aggressive tone over the weekend, with Trump calling out Mueller by name for the first time after his defense attorney, John Dowd, did the same one day earlier.

Flake, who had faced a tough reelection bid in Arizona due in part to his ongoing feud with the president, announced in October that he would retire after his term ends this year.

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