Former CIA chief Robert Gates said on Sunday (January 28) that the American people should be prepared for conclusions in the FBI’s investigation of Russian election hacking that could potentially “elate” some but anger” others, and that people should not assume Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is heading the investigation will come to a preset conclusion.
Gates, who was also a former Secretary of Defense, was speaking on the NBC news program “Meet the Press”.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that President Donald Trump backed down from his order to fire Mueller after White House Counsel Donald McGahn said he would resign rather than follow the directive, citing four people familiar with the matter.
Trump on Friday denied the report.
If Trump did try to fire Mueller, it could strengthen a case for obstruction of justice against the president based on whether he had “corrupt intent” in trying to hinder Mueller’s investigation, legal experts said.
Gates said he was unsure what legal actions from Congress could protect Mueller who is a presidential appointee, but added that Congress could “make it clear the magnitude of the political cost that would be incurred should he be fired.”