After the Monday raid on the offices of Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the president is rumored to be enraged that the Robert Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia to sway the results of the 2016 presidential election has crossed a line and is considering several options to attempt to limit the scope of the investigation. Now CNN is reporting that multiple White House insiders are telling them that one of those options is for Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who currently oversees the investigation.
CNN reports that the raid Monday, which was actually carried out by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and not Robert Mueller or the FBI, is the closest law enforcement officials have gotten to Trump’s inner circle thus far. The president believes that the stated reason for the raid, to obtain information relating to NDAs Cohen may have negotiated between Trump and two women who claim to have had extramarital affairs with the president, is a ruse and that Mueller is “unregulated,” acting without any checks or balances.
According to CNN, Trump is abandoning a planned trip to South America to focus on his response to the FBI and Justice Department. Another possible option being discussed is the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The president has long been angry at Sessions for recusing himself from the Mueller investigation. This option seems less likely than the firing of Rosenstein, however, as there is quite a good deal of Republican opposition to the idea of firing Sessions.
In a Monday evening meeting with top military officials, Trump was asked about the raid and whether he was planning to fire Rod Rosenstein or Robert Mueller. The president, in response, refused to say that either man was safe or to take any potential move to answer the raid off the table.
“It’s an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.”
On Tuesday morning, Trump signalled the high level of his annoyance with a pair of extremely terse tweets.
CNN is also reporting Tuesday night that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responding to a question about whether Trump believes he is able to fire Robert Mueller, said, “He certainly believes he has the power to do so.”
In addition, the New York Times is reporting Tuesday night that Trump seriously considered firing Mueller back in early December when he became furious over news of Mueller issuing subpoenas for the president’s banking information and told advisors that he intended to shut the investigation down. This is now the second time that Trump is said to have tried to fire Mueller. It has been previously reported that he sought to fire the special counsel last June but backed down when one of his lawyers for the investigation, Don McGahn, threatened to resign.
The president’s critics in the media and Democrats in Congress are sounding the alarm of a possible “constitutional crisis” Tuesday night and preparing for action should Trump move to fire Rosenstein, Sessions, or Mueller.