Well, I think it’s bad for the country. The only thing that bothers me about timing, I think it’s a very bad thing for the country. Because it makes the country look bad, it makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position. So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.
What I’ve done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter
In 1973, Attorney General Elliott Richardson resigned rather than carry out Richard Nixon's order to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. A 2/12/76 UPI story in the NYT:
Mr. Richardson describes the events of Oct. 20, 1973, in the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly.
On that day, the special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, refused to accept a compromise and said he would go back to court to obtain White House tapes. Mr. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus resigned rather than follow orders to dismiss Mr. Cox.
Mr. Richardson recalls that the first thing Mr. Nixon said when he entered the Oval Office to resign was a reference to Leonid I. Brezhnev, the Soviet leader.
“Brezhnev would never understand it if I let Cox defy my instructions,” the President declared.