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特朗普曾下令开除“通俄门”特别检察官穆勒

更新时间:2018-1-28 10:31:53 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Trump Ordered Mueller Fired, but Backed Off When White House Counsel Threatened to Quit
特朗普曾下令开除“通俄门”特别检察官穆勒

WASHINGTON — President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.

华盛顿——四名知情人士透露,特朗普总统去年6月曾下令撤换领导通俄调查的特别检察官罗伯特·S·穆勒三世(Robert S. Mueller III),但最终在白宫律师威胁宁愿辞职也不执行该命令后放弃。

The West Wing confrontation marks the first time Mr. Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel. Mr. Mueller learned about the episode in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.

发生在白宫西配楼的这场对抗,据知是特朗普第一次试图撤换这位特别检察官。近几个月穆勒调查总统是否妨碍司法期间,随着调查人员对现任和前任白宫高级官员展开问讯,穆勒知悉了此事。

Amid the first wave of news media reports that Mr. Mueller was examining a possible obstruction case, the president began to argue that Mr. Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation, two of the people said.

其中两人说,随着第一波关于穆勒正在调查是否存在妨碍司法情况的新闻媒体报道出现,特朗普就开始声称穆勒同他存在三起利益冲突,故而没有资格领导调查。

First, he claimed that a dispute years ago over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., had prompted Mr. Mueller, the F.B.I. director at the time, to resign his membership. The president also said Mr. Mueller could not be impartial because he had most recently worked for the law firm that previously represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Finally, the president said, Mr. Mueller had been interviewed to return as the F.B.I. director the day before he was appointed special counsel in May.

首先,他声称,多年前在弗吉尼亚州斯特林的特朗普全国高尔夫俱乐部(Trump National Golf Club),因收费而发生的一场争吵促使时任联邦调查局(FBI)局长穆勒放弃了自己的会员资格;总统还说,穆勒无法做到公正,因为他的上一家雇主是此前代表总统女婿贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)利益的律所;最后,总统说穆勒在5月被任命为特别检察官的前一天,接受了为让他再次担任FBI局长而安排的面谈。

After receiving the president’s order to fire Mr. Mueller, the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused to ask the Justice Department to dismiss the special counsel, saying he would quit instead, the people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.

相关人士透露,收到总统解雇穆勒的命令后,白宫律师唐纳德·F·麦格恩二世(Donald F. McGahn II)拒绝要求司法部解雇这位特别检察官,称否则他就辞职。因为讨论的是一场仍在进行的调查,这些相关人士要求匿名。

Mr. McGahn disagreed with the president’s case. He also told senior White House officials that firing Mr. Mueller would have a catastrophic effect on Mr. Trump’s presidency and would incite more questions about whether the White House was trying to obstruct the Russia investigation. Mr. McGahn also told White House officials that Mr. Trump would not follow through on the dismissal on his own. The president then backed off.

麦格恩不同意总统的观点。他还对白宫的高级官员表示,解雇穆勒会对特朗普的总统职位产生灾难性影响,并引发更多有关白宫是否尝试阻挠通俄调查的质疑。麦格恩还对白宫官员表示,如果无人支持,特朗普不会坚持解雇的决定。后来,总统让步了。

“We decline to comment out of respect for the Office of the Special Counsel and its process,” Ty Cobb, the president’s lawyer who manages the White House’s relationship with Mr. Mueller’s office, said in a statement.

“出于对特别检察官办公室(Office of the Special Counsel)及其程序的尊重,我们拒绝发表评论,”总统的律师泰·柯布(Ty Cobb)在一份声明中说。他负责处理白宫与穆勒办公室之间的关系。

Mr. McGahn, a longtime Republican campaign finance lawyer in Washington who served on the Federal Election Commission, was the top lawyer on Mr. Trump’s campaign. He has been involved in nearly every key decision Mr. Trump has made — like the firing of the former F.B.I. director — that is being scrutinized by Mr. Mueller.

麦格恩长期担任共和党在华盛顿的竞选财务律师,曾供职于联邦选举委员会(Federal Election Commission),是特朗普竞选团队的首席律师。穆勒正在调查的特朗普的所有关键决定几乎都与麦格恩有关,比如解雇前FBI局长一事。

Around the time Mr. Trump wanted to fire Mr. Mueller, the president’s legal team, led then by his longtime personal lawyer in New York, Marc E. Kasowitz, was taking an adversarial approach to the Russia investigation. The president’s lawyers were digging into potential conflict-of-interest issues for Mr. Mueller and his team, according to current and former White House officials, and news media reports revealed that several of Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors had donated to Democrats.

在特朗普想解雇穆勒的前后时期,总统的法律团队对通俄调查采取对抗态度。当时领导该团队的是马克·E·卡索威茨(Marc E. Kasowitz),他曾长期任特朗普在纽约的私人律师。据现任和前任白宫官员称,当时总统的律师们正在挖掘穆勒及其团队存在的潜在利益冲突问题,而媒体报道显示,穆勒领导的检察官中有多人曾给民主党人捐款。

Mr. Mueller could not legally have considered political affiliations when making hiring decisions. But for Mr. Trump’s supporters, it reinforced the idea that, although Mr. Mueller is a Republican, he had assembled a team of Democrats to take down the president.

从法律角度来说,穆勒做雇佣决定时,本不能考虑政治立场。但对特朗普的支持者来说,这证实了一点:尽管穆勒是共和党,但他组建了一个由民主党人组成的团队,为的是把总统拉下台。

Another option that Mr. Trump considered in discussions with his advisers was dismissing the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, and elevating the department’s No. 3 official, Rachel Brand, to oversee Mr. Mueller. Mr. Rosenstein has overseen the investigation since March, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

在与顾问的讨论中,特朗普考虑的另一个选项是解雇司法部副部长罗德·J·罗森斯坦(Rod J. Rosenstein),并提拔该部门位列第三的官员蕾切尔·布兰德(Rachel Brand)以监督穆勒。自从3月司法部长杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)回避调查后,调查一直由罗森斯坦负责监督。

Mr. Trump has significantly ratcheted back his criticisms of Mr. Mueller since he hired Mr. Cobb in July. A veteran of several high-profile Washington controversies, Mr. Cobb has known Mr. Mueller for decades, dating to their early careers in the Justice Department.

自从7月聘用柯布以来,特朗普对穆勒的批评显著减少。多次参与热点争议事件的老手柯布已和穆勒相识数十年,最早可以追溯到职业生涯早期在司法部的日子。

He advised Mr. Trump that he had nothing to gain from combat with Mr. Mueller, a highly respected former prosecutor and F.B.I. director who has subpoena power as special counsel. Since Mr. Cobb’s arrival, the White House has operated on the premise that the quickest way to clear the cloud of suspicion was to cooperate with Mr. Mueller, not to fight him.

柯布向特朗普建议,作为特别检察官,这位备受尊敬的前联邦调查局局长和前检察官有发出传票的权力,与穆勒作对没有任何好处。柯布到来后,白宫行动的前提一直是与穆勒合作而非对抗,认为这才是驱散猜疑的最快方法。

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump has wavered for months about whether he wants to fire Mr. Mueller, whose job security is an omnipresent concern among the president’s legal team and close aides. The president’s lawyers, including Mr. Cobb, have tried to keep Mr. Trump calm by assuring him for months, amid new revelations about the inquiry, that it is close to ending.

然而数月以来,特朗普一直在是否撤穆勒的问题上犹豫不决。保住穆勒的工作,成了总统法律团队和亲信幕僚无时无刻不在关心的问题。关于这场调查的最新消息是,为了安抚特朗普,包括柯布在内的总统律师已经连续数月向他保证调查即将结束。

Mr. Trump has long demonstrated a preoccupation with those who have overseen the Russia investigation. In March, after Mr. McGahn failed to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the inquiry, Mr. Trump complained that he needed someone loyal to oversee the Justice Department.

特朗普一直表现出对监管“通俄门”调查的人有着格外的关注。3月,在麦格恩说服司法部长杰夫·塞申斯不要回避的努力失败后,特朗普埋怨说自己需要一个忠诚的人来监督司法部。

The former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said Mr. Trump asked him for loyalty and encouraged him to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Comey said he sidestepped those requests. He was soon fired.

前联邦调查局局长詹姆斯·B·科米(James B. Comey)表示特朗普曾要求自己效忠于他,并怂恿他放弃对特朗普的前国家安全顾问迈克尔·T·弗林(Michael T. Flynn)的调查。科米表示自己无视了那些要求。没过多久,他就被解职了。

In an interview with The New York Times in the Oval Office in July, the president pointedly kept open the option of firing Mr. Mueller, saying that the special counsel would be passing a “red line” if his investigation expanded to look at Mr. Trump’s finances. Mr. Trump said he never would have made Mr. Sessions the attorney general if he knew he was going to recuse himself from the investigation.

7月在椭圆形办公室接受《纽约时报》采访时,总统特意保留了将穆勒解职的可能,并表示如果穆勒的调查扩展到要查看特朗普的财务状况,那么这位特别检察官就是在越过“红线”。特朗普说,如果他知道塞申斯会回避调查,就不会任命他为司法部长。

Last month, as Republicans were increasing their attacks on the special counsel, Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Times that he believed Mr. Mueller was going to treat him fairly.

上个月,共和党人加重了对特别检察官的批评。特朗普在《纽约时报》的采访中说他相信穆勒会公正待他。

“No, it doesn’t bother me because I hope that he’s going to be fair,” Mr. Trump said in response to a question about whether it bothered him that Mr. Mueller had not yet ended his investigation. “I think that he’s going to be fair.”

“不,这并不困扰我,因为我希望他是公正的,”被问及穆勒尚未结束调查对他是否造成困扰时,特朗普说。“我想他是会公正的。”

Mr. Trump added: “There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair.”

特朗普又补充说:“不存在什么串通。但我想他是会公正的。”

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