When Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted President Trump’s former national security advisor, General Michael Flynn, at the end of last month, he sent shockwaves through the Washington establishment. Court documents, released after Flynn entered a guilty plea to the charge against him, revealed that Flynn claims to have been under orders from a senior member of President Trump’s transition team when he made contact with Russian officials. That senior member of team Trump is widely reported to be the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, it is widely expected that Kushner will be the next to be indicted by the Mueller investigation team. Since Flynn’s indictment rumors have been circulating suggesting that Trump will fire Mueller. Many right-wing outlets have been pushing the narrative that President Trump will simply pardon everyone, including himself, indicted by the Mueller investigation. The Independent claimed, as long ago as last July, that Trump had asked his lawyers to look into whether he could pardon himself.
Of course, as reported by Newsweek, the idea of a U.S. president being able to pardon himself for committing a crime is ridiculous, but the narrative does push Trump as a “victim” of the Mueller investigation.
In the days since Mueller’s indictment of Flynn, Trump and the right-wing media have renewed their claims that the Mueller investigation is a “politically driven witch-hunt.” Interestingly that article by the Independent revealed that Trump had ordered his lawyers to compile a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest. This, the lawyers argue, “could serve as a way to stymie [Mueller’s] work. Proving that Mueller had a conflict of interest would potentially allow Trump to fire him.
The day after Flynn’s indictment, stories began to circulate that Mueller had removed an FBI agent from the Russia investigation because he had exchanged anti-Trump text messages with a colleague. It was also revealed that several of the Mueller investigation team had made donations to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. These stories led to Trump telling his 45 million Twitter followers that the FBI was biased against him, thereby attempting to undermine Mueller’s Russian collusion probe.
As reported by Newsweek, there is “a multi-pronged, serious effort to undermine the major sources of news in the United States.” Whilst that process is underway, we are also seeing a growing wave of claims that president Trump should fire Robert Mueller. Just a few days ago, ABC reported that Florida congressman Matt Gaetz was urging President Trump to fire Mueller. The White House has repeatedly denied that Trump is considering firing Mueller, but Gaetz is not the only GOP Representative calling for an end to the Russia investigation.
Of course, there are other forces at play. As reported by the Independent, Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the US Senate Intelligence Committee has warned that the Mueller investigation should be allowed to continue to its conclusion without impediment. Warner said that Trump would “provoke a constitutional crisis” if he fired Mueller. Trump has also been warned that such an abuse of power would be grounds for impeachment.
Of course, President Trump has already fired one FBI director, James Comey, who was looking into allegations of collusion between Trump and Russia. Trump has already called for a special counsel to investigate Mueller, and the L.A. Times points out that there would be no better time for Trump to sack Mueller. They point out that Mueller is close to indicting Jared Kushner, and claim that would be a disaster for Trump. Kushner, they claim, either goes to prison or provides information that exposes President Trump himself.
The prospect of Trump firing Mueller after he indicts Kushner is almost unthinkable. The American people would surely not stand for the firing of an investigator who is so close to Trump’s inner circle and to the president himself. If Trump is to fire Mueller, he would blunt the fury of Congress by doing so just as both Houses break up for the Christmas Holiday. Such a move would allow Trump two weeks breathing space to push his justification for sacking Mueller.
Of course, the White House has repeatedly claimed that president Trump has no plans to sack Mueller. The veracity of those claims will be tested in the coming days and weeks.