The old saying goes (and I paraphrase), “Certain things are guaranteed: death and taxes.” However, I believe a third truism applies to President Trump and the dark cloud hovering over his White House: no matter what the risk, the former reality TV star will fire Special Counsel Robert “Bob” Mueller.
The latest about Donald Trump’s rocky presidency is redolent of a David Baldacci or James Patterson page-turner; only this is a work of non-fiction. Despite an apparent explosive backlash the firebrand POTUS would experience by canning the second man investigating how Russia interfered in the U.S. 2016 presidential elections, it’s a foregone conclusion that Trump will likely choose the red wire.
Last week, the Washington Post published a stunning report — using five sources close to the Russian probe — that suggested President Trump was now the target of a criminal investigation for possible obstruction of justice. The latter supposedly piqued the interest of Robert Mueller after Trump fired former FBI director James Comey.
Trump has long maintained that he was not the target of an investigation and he felt “vindicated” after Comey’s recent testimony before a Senate panel where he admitted that he assured the president that he was not part of a probe at the time.
Apparently, the focus changed after Comey was terminated, ostensibly, according to the ex-FBI boss, due to Trump’s discomfort over the Russian investigation. In a recent tweet storm, President Trump referred to the case as a “distraction,” suggesting it was preventing him from getting on with the people’s business.
Moreover, the Republican commander in chief appeared to confirm the Post’s report in another tweet. He also took a swipe at acting attorney general Rod Rosenstein — who, incidentally, hired the special prosecutor, wrote Yahoo News.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) June 14, 2017
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
Jay Sekulow, a member of the president’s legal team, pushed back on reports Trump is squarely in Mueller’s eyes over potential obstruction charges. He blasted the rumors during a Meet the Press appearance and insisted that his team had not received formal notice of an investigation of President Trump.
“He’s apolitical, he hates publicity, he’s no flash and all substance" https://t.co/LorJEEIfY0
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) June 17, 2017
“The tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources purportedly leaking info to The Washington Post.”
“He’s not afraid of the investigation — there is no investigation… there is not an investigation of the president of the United States, period.”
“Let me be clear: The president’s not under investigation.” – Jay Sekulowhttps://t.co/O8GQB5jqMq
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) June 19, 2017
In a “normal” world and under “normal” conditions, a sitting president wouldn’t dare fire the man who holds the key to his fate; that wouldn’t be American. However, we’re not dealing with a normal leader in the White House — far from it.
According to CNN, the Independent Counsel Act expired after Special Counsel Ken Starr conducted a dissertation-length investigation of former President Bill Clinton. With nothing standing in his way, Trump could send Mueller packing — just like he did for Comey. Well, why wouldn’t he?
Based on the rules, he’d have to order Rosenstein to terminate Mueller, but he’s testified recently that he would only do so “with cause.”
Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, balked at the idea and said, “If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller. Don’t waste our time.”
I’m no lawyer, but Trump controls the Department of Justice and could easily change the rules at the DOJ to remove any barriers to terminating the Special Counsel, according to the Huffington Post‘s reporting.
The word is Trump is secretly plotting to remove Mueller at a time of his choosing. The act will send ripples of shockwaves throughout Capitol Hill and lawmakers would likely face a constitutional crisis — one not seen since Nixon’s Watergate.
Remember, we’re not dealing with a “normal” president this time around.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]