There’s only one person who can stop President Donald Trump from installing a “toady” to shut down the special counsel investigation of his campaign ties to Russia — and he’s already pulled off the same trick to steal a Supreme Court seat.
The president has a “simple two-step process” for removing special counsel Robert Mueller, who has terrified Trump by looking into his family’s financial dealings, and only Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can take away those powers, according to DC Report’s David Cay Johnson.
Trump has been publicly insulting Attorney General Jeff Sessions in hopes of getting him to quit and presumably replace his longtime loyalist with someone willing to fire Mueller.
Sessions can’t do it, because he recused himself from the probe over his own contacts with Russian officials, and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has signaled he won’t.
The president can’t really fire Sessions, Johnson said, because he could risk impeachment for obstruction of justice if his next attorney general fires Mueller.
So he seems to be hoping Sessions quits under pressure, and Johnson said he seems to be timing his efforts to the upcoming congressional recess — which would allow Trump to bypass Senate confirmation and fill a crucial cabinet position as a recess appointment.
“Given Trump’s ease in finding unqualified people to fill high positions in our government, finding someone so craven that they would fire Mueller just so they can serve 18 months as our 85th Attorney General would be easy,” Johnson wrote.
McConnell, however, can thwart Trump’s wholly constitutional strategy by keeping the Senate in session, using a trick he used last year against President Barack Obama to hold the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s high court seat open through the election.
“All McConnell needs to do is keep the Senate in session,” Johnson said. “McConnell had one senator show up each day to gavel the Senate into session and then promptly adjourn until the next day.”
The only question is, would McConnell actually challenge a Republican president?