Fiery Juan Williams Presses Chaffetz: Is GOP 'Calling for a Saturday Night Massacre'?
Juan Williams asked Jason Chaffetz on "America's Newsroom" if his support for the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the recusal of other DOJ officials from the Trump-Russia probe is basically a call for a Nixonian "Saturday Night Massacre."
Chaffetz, a Fox News contributor and former Utah congressman, said Sessions has been "negligent" in investigating and prosecuting questionable claims against Democrats like Hillary Clinton and her former IT chief, Bryan Pagliano.
Chaffetz said he met with Sessions while in Congress and asked why Pagliano -- who worked on Clinton's private email server -- hadn't been called in for questioning. He said Sessions told him Pagliano was "too close to Hillary Clinton."
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Chaffetz said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be voluntarily -- or forcibly via Sessions' order -- recused from the Russia probe because he signed the questionable FISA warrant that allowed surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide that is now under further investigation.
"It sounds like you're calling for a Saturday Night Massacre. 'Get rid of Sessions, get rid of Rosenstein.' You're going to have to go down a long list [and] this is not good for Republicans," Williams said.
On Saturday night, October 20, 1973, in the midst of the Watergate probe, President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Eliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox -- whose role was similar to that of Robert Mueller today.
Richardson refused and promptly resigned his post. Nixon moved on to Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus who similarly refused to fire Cox and instead resigned.
Nixon then ordered the third highest-ranking DOJ official, Solicitor General Robert Bork, to fire Cox. Bork reportedly initially waffled on the decision, before going on to fire Cox as ordered.
The series of events set off a firestorm in Washington -- leading to the appointment of a new special investigator and a court ruling that Cox's firing had been illegal.
Nixon ultimately resigned the presidency, and Bork was stymied from being confirmed to the Supreme Court a decade later.
Chaffetz responded by saying that Sessions is "one of the worst attorneys general we've ever had."
Watch the debate above.