MEMORANDUM – August 1, 2017
TO: President Donald J. Trump
FROM: The Department of Justice
RE: Firing of Robert Mueller
Dear Mr. President:
I acknowledge receipt of your memorandum of July 29th requesting that I fire Robert Mueller from his position as special counsel regarding the department’s investigation into the illegal involvement of Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
First off, I’d like to say what an honor it is to receive such a memorandum from you. In my almost 35-year tenure at the department, I can say with certainty that this is the first time I have ever received a communication from a sitting president.
I recall that my predecessor Joe Smith did receive a short note of congratulations from President Obama upon the occasion of his retirement from the department back in 2013. But I can’t recall anyone in my position receiving an official memorandum. Believe me; I will cherish your communication for the rest of my life.
But enough about me. As for the substantive matter at hand, let me just briefly summarize recent events. As I understand it, you want Special Counsel Robert Mueller fired but Attorney General Jeff Sessions couldn’t do it because he has recused himself from anything to do with the Russia investigation.
Further, I understand that you then asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mr. Mueller but that he, too, recused himself on the basis that your direction to him to provide a memo recommending the firing of former FBI Director James Comey inadvertently involved him in the Russia investigation.
Apparently you then asked the Associate Attorney General, that nice Rachel Brand from the fifth floor, to carry out your order. Last I heard, she also declined and rumor has it that you fired her.
At this point, things get a bit unclear but I am given to understand that the Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall was then directed in early July to fire Mr. Mueller. Members of my staff have reported to me that Mr. Wall’s office has been empty for the last three weeks and I must therefore assume that he either quit or was fired.
Since then, there has been a series of dismissals from almost every floor including the Director of Legal Policy, the Director of the Criminal Division and the head of the Office of the Inspector General. Numerous additional subordinate employees have also apparently been let go.
I recognize the importance of your request, Mr. President, but I must point out that as you have made your way rapidly through the department’s org chart, we have lost dozens of employees over the last couple of weeks. This has necessitated a significant amount of overtime work by our maintenance and cleaning staffs and I’m sure that you, as a deficit fighter, are as concerned about the added expense as I am.
Anyway, enough said about that. I understand that you are writing to me as next in line and directing me to fire the special counsel.
Mr. President, rest assured that I have given your request careful consideration and have consulted with my colleagues in the maintenance and cleaning sections. Much as I would like to accommodate you, I am not able to do so.
First, I am not convinced that the chain of command reaches as far down as my position. Second, there is the issue of my collective agreement which I believe precludes me from exercising management responsibilities in the absence of a formal acting appointment. And finally, sir, with all due respect, I must inform you that I find your direction to be of questionable legality (see United States v. Mitchell, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)).
I hope that my refusal to carry out your order will not result in my termination. However, if it does, I respectfully request that you do not then direct my subordinate Helen Powers, the Assistant Deputy Cleaning and Maintenance Officer, to fire Mr. Mueller. She has had a very busy month cleaning out all the empty offices and does not need the added stress.
Fred Jones, Chief Cleaning and Maintenance Officer