As Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues with his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Donald Trump appears to be stepping up his resolve to stop him. Trump continues to deny it, yet it’s clear that he and those close to him have discussed it. White House Communications Director Sarah Sanders hinted as much by saying, when asked, that Trump had been advised that he did have the power to fire Robert Mueller.
Trump does not have the power to fire Robert Mueller, however, and only one person – Mueller’s boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – does. It seems likely, however, that Rosenstein would refuse to do so. But saying “no” to the president would set Rosenstein up nicely to be fired. In turn, that would leave a vacancy that Trump could conveniently fill with someone who is willing to fire or at least put more restrictions on Robert Mueller.
Many say that even if Robert Mueller is fired or limited, it won’t impede the Russia investigation, because the people at the Justice Department will continue to do their jobs. If so, Trump could then fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, replacing him with someone who would not protect the investigation. Trump could also impede the investigation by pardoning key witnesses, or repealing the regulations that establish the office of the special counsel.
Trump ‘s Increasing Ire at Robert Mueller
With every new indication that Robert Mueller may be getting closer to finding damning evidence in the Russia probe, Trump steps up his drive to put an end to the investigation. The New York Times reports that Trump wanted to fire Mueller in December, after erroneous reports that Mueller had tried to subpoena Trump family financial records from Deutsche Bank.
Recently, Trump’s ire toward Robert Mueller has increased with the raid of the home of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. (In reality, it was the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and not Robert Mueller, who executed the raid.)
Trump appears to be attempting, in his usual way, to set the scene and influence the opinions of his followers by discrediting Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller via tweets such as the following one:
“Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!
Many Republicans as well as Democrats oppose the idea of having Robert Mueller fired, and say they don’t think that it’s likely.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, tweeted:
“Anyone advising the President — in public or over the airwaves— to fire Bob Mueller does not have the President or the nation’s best interest at heart. Full stop.”
MoveOn.org, an organization that XXXX, stated, ““Trump will create a constitutional crisis if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller, or attempts to compromise the investigation by other means.”
MoveOn.org is responding to the possibility of Robert Mueller’s firing by organizing local rallies across the country, prepared to mobilize within 24 hours of the firing, should it occur.
How far will Donald Trump go to stop the investigation of Russian election meddling? With leading figures such as Hatch tweeting about it, and with people around the country already prepared to mobilize in non-violent protest if he does, it’s evident that many Americans feel he’ll start with Robert Mueller, and will stop at nothing.
Speier: Trump Will Go Down if Mueller Is Fired | CNN [2018-04-10]
Ex-DOJ Attorney: Rosenstein Should Have Already Been Fired | Fox News [2018-04-12]