The rumor mill is swirling that President Trump is considering whether he is able to fire Robert Mueller who was recently appointed as a Special Counsel to investigate Russian tampering in the election. The information comes from a close friend of Trump who says that Trump is weighing the fallout of such a move.

Report from the New York Times:

A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials.

The startling assertion comes as some of Mr. Trump’s conservative allies, who initially praised Mr. Mueller’s selection as special counsel, have begun trying to attack his credibility.

The friend, Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media, who was at the White House on Monday, said on PBS’s “NewsHour” that Mr. Trump was “considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel.”

“I think he’s weighing that option,” Mr. Ruddy said.

His comments appeared to take the White House by surprise.

“Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement hours later. “With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”

I’m sure, as the story notes, that Trump is being advised against such a move, but does that ever matter with this president? If he has calculated that the outrage quotient is what he’s seeking on any given day, he may just pull the trigger and terminate him. There is a legal question over whether the President has the power to fire someone in this position, but here’s how that works, according to CNN:

Technically, it’s up to the attorney general to decide what to do with the special counsel.

“The attorney general is the one who has to fire him,” said CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on “Anderson Cooper 360.” “(Attorney General) Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago.”

So that would leave such a decision to Rosenstein, who just appointed Mueller on May 17 to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In essence, Trump could instruct the Deputy Attorney General to fire Mueller despite having just hired him a short time ago. Would Rosenstein fire him? That’s another question but it seems as though if Trump really wanted Mueller gone, he could find a way to get it done.

Democrats are calling for impeachment if Trump were to make such a move, according to the liberal New Republic:

Democrats could also forestall Trump’s interference by stating that such extraordinary corruption would merit impeachment. Party leaders have been generally and unnecessarily sheepish about calling for Trump’s impeachment, but this would be a perfectly defensible place for them to draw a bright line. Getting ahead of the story would force Republicans to comment on the issue before Trump makes another reckless decision rather than after, hopefully limiting his options.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took a preliminary step in this direction on Monday, using the Senate floor to denounce the “shameful ploy” by Trump loyalists who are trying to undermine Mueller’s credibility.

Democrats have already been dancing around impeachment over the issue, but Republicans so far have held the line. If Trump were to fire Mueller rather than let him conclude an investigation, would that change the dynamic in such a way that some Republicans would start to peel away?

I doubt it will come to this since the testimony of James Comey did little to move the ball in either direction. What Comey did do is concede that there still is no hard evidence that Donald Trump or anyone directly in his inner circle colluded with Russia to alter the election outcome last year. Without some hard evidence there, impeachment is off the table so why would Trump give critics more ammunition by firing Mueller? I suppose the only reason is because he’s Donald Trump, and you can’t underestimate his ability to damage himself purely for egotistical reasons if the moment strikes him.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Trump does the most outrageous thing he can think of at any moment of the day. So firing Mueller would be more about getting headlines and attention than for any practical purpose. After all, we’re all talking about even the threat of it, instead of talking about the things he’s sneaking through in the background.

    As for process, yes, he’d have to get Rosenstein to do the dirty deed. If he refused, Trump would have to fire him, as Nixon did, and tell the next man in line to do the deed.

    If that were to happen, the Congressional investigation would actually be empowered and emboldened. Because of the special counsel, the Congressional investigation has been stymied. And Trump can’t count on his Congressional majority to sweep everything under the rug. The broom is losing bristles, and the rug ain’t that big.

    • Exactly, about the back door statement.

      Example: I got an email, as millions did, from the Democrat party. it said while the media was focused on Comey the GOP went through the back door, so to speak, on the health care issue.

      Even though you, or someone else, disagreed with me about Trump causing distractions so he could focus on other things. It’s true. He keeps the media focused on some irrelevant issue while he goes about getting what he thinks is important. That’s also what the democrat group’s email said.

      • YES. That’s exactly what I said, too. I think we only disagreed on whether he was doing it intentionally. The way I see it, he has done outrageous things all his life, and has found that things fall into his lap, so he keeps doing outrageous things–without thinking.

        His real risk is that one time, he will go to far, and find how quickly people can turn on you–like the Kathy Griffin thing, which was meant as a stupid joke about her being a conquering hero–but almost immediately lost her almost everything.

        • Trump’s supporters are so loyal. A Clinton/Lewinsky affair might cause a stir but not much else.

          I still don’t get how Clinton managed to get away with that one. Maybe his statement “It’s the economy stupid” was right on.

  2. Wow. If he wants instantly impeached, that is certainly his easy way out. Who could blame him? He is incompetent and he knows it. Way out of his league here. Racist and misogynist rants/trolling are more his bag.

    • Naw. He could play bully and fire Mueller, but the immediate result would be a more aggressive Congressional investigation, not impeachment. As with Comey, Trump has the “right” to fire these people, regardless of how unseemly it is.

  3. Our Founding Fathers recognized that every citizen has certain unalienable rights which comes from a Creator, not the government. The Bill of Rights protects us from each other and from the government itself. Our individual rights are being steadily chipped away by Trump and Company’s percieved “government provided privileges”.

    I did watch Sessions on TV today as he make a parody of honesty. Evading truthfulness with “as I recall” “as I remember” “I’m not sure” before answering a Senator’s questions. He was making sure he couldn’t be prosecuted for lying.

    • The chipping away has been been going on since the 40ies. It didn’t just start.

      In fact today somebody in jail might have more rights.

  4. Trump is hung up on thinking he is the “CEO of the federal government”. As president, Trump is simply the head of one branch. There are two co-equal branches of the United States government. Trump conveniently forgets the Legislative branch.

    A US president does have broad personnel powers but they’re not unlimited. A president can’t simply “hire and fire whoever he wants.” Nearly every top position requires Senate confirmation – including the leadership post at the FBI – and a wide variety of other executive-branch positions have civil-service protections that require a good reason (or a really good Trumped up one) before an official can be dismissed.

    But more to the point, a president can’t legally obstruct justice, either.

Comments are closed.