NBC legal correspondent Pete Williams reported on Monday that it won’t be easy for President Donald Trump to fire the federal government’s top infectious disease expert.
The question about whether Trump can oust Dr. Anthony Fauci surfaced after the president retweeted a “#FireFauci” hashtag.
According to Williams, Fauci is not a political appointee so he can only be fired “for cause.”
If Trump fired Fauci without a legitimate reason, the case would likely end up in court, leaving the coronavirus pandemic response team in turmoil, Williams said.
Can Pres. Trump fire Dr. Fauci? In a word, no, @PeteWilliamsNBC reports. The president could, however, direct HHS Sec. Azar to see to it that Fauci is fired. Azar would then have to direct NIH Dir. Collins to fire Fauci. As a federal employee, Fauci can only be fired "for cause."
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) April 13, 2020
Can Trump fire Fauci? @PeteWilliamsNBC says - in light of Trump's retweet - as a federal employee, Fauci can only be fired "for cause." If Trump tried to get him fired for not being a team player, Fauci would have a very good lawsuit, but it would take time to resolve in court.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) April 13, 2020