Quantcast
Connect with us

Here is how Trump is laying the groundwork to fire Mueller if things get too hot for him

Published

on

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller said cyber security will be the number one future threat in the country, but for the time being, "counterterrorism and stopping terrorist attacks" is more important. (Photo: Kit Fox/Medill Flickr)

While President Trump cavorts in Asia, his legal problems at home continue to mount. The indictment of three aides, his record-low poll numbers and a wave of Republican defeats in state and local elections compound the threat to his aides, his family and himself by limiting his options. When he returns November 18, he will find himself more vulnerable than ever.

ADVERTISEMENT

Is Trump trapped? Let’s just say the president’s defenses have a way of backfiring.

Last May, Trump fired FBI director James Comey in an effort to get rid of “this Russia thing.” The result was the appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller who indicted former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his aide Rick Gates. According to NBC News, Mueller has also amassed enough evidence to charge Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.

Trump claimed allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia were “fake news.” Then came the indictment of George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy aide who says he spoke to a Russian about getting “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

Trump, who has boasted having “one of the greatest memories of all time,” said he couldn’t “recall much” about a 2016 meeting in which he appeared in a photograph with Papadopoulos.

Now Trump has a new defense, offered by surrogates in Congress and Fox News.

ADVERTISEMENT

‘Risk of a Coup’

“We are at risk of a coup d’état in this country if we allow an unaccountable person with no oversight to undermine the duly elected president of the United States,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in a Capitol Hill speech Wednesday, according to The Hill. “That is precisely what is happening right now with the indisputable conflicts of interest that are present with Mr. Mueller and others at the Department of Justice.”

Along with Congressmen Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), Gaetz co-sponsored a resolution last week that questions Mueller’s neutrality. Capitol Hill Republicans claim the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation is compromised because Mueller was the head of the FBI when the Obama administration approved the sale of the Uranium One mining firm to the Russian atomic energy agency.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Uranium One story, it must be said, has replaced “Benghazi” as the conservative conspiracy theory du jour for a good reason: The Uranium One story does have the whiff of Clintonian corruption.

People associated with Uranium One donated an astonishing $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, mostly before and during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run, according to the Washington PostIn addition, Bill Clinton received $500,000 from a Russian bank to give a speech at a conference in Moscow in 2011.

ADVERTISEMENT

What the Uranium One story doesn’t have is any evidence of wrongdoing or bias or conflict of interest by Robert Mueller. The Treasury Department was the lead agency that headed the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which approved the investment, according to CNN.

There is no evidence that the Uranium One sale violated any laws or harmed the United States.

Game Plan

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon has been urging Trump to take the fight to Mueller, and the Uranium One story appears to be the chosen presidential cudgel.

ADVERTISEMENT

Over the summer, Trump talked about firing Mueller and was talking out of it by aides who feared a political firestorm. The Uranium One story, suddenly revived by Sean Hannity and other right-wing talking heads in the days before Manafort’s indictment, creates a pretext that was lacking before.

Firing Mueller, however, is unlikely to solve Trump’s problem any more than “fake news” allegations or Comey’s dismissal did.

The prosecution of Manafort and Gates (and possibly Flynn) will proceed, unless Trump pardons them, which he has talked about doing. A combination of firing Mueller and pardoning the defendants will invite Senate legislation, already introduced, to reinstate Mueller. It would also likely provoke a legal challenge from constitutional lawyers arguing that the president cannot use his pardoning power to obstruct justice.

And even the dismissal of Mueller with pardons would not solve Trump’s problem. The special prosecutor is already coordinating his investigation of Manafort with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Trump entourage may also face charges in New York state court. The president cannot fire a state official or issue pardons to people accused or convicted of state crimes.

ADVERTISEMENT

Accusing Mueller of a “coup” and firing him might rally Trump’s loyal though shrinking base, but it would alienate and demoralize congressional Republicans he needs to pass a tax cut. Those Republicans are already worried about Tuesday’s election results and fear a “blue wave” is coming in the 2018 midterm elections.

Firing Mueller would encourage and energize Democrats, such as Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), to pursue a bill of impeachment against Trump. “He would be impeached the next day,” said one former federal prosecutor.

Green wants to force a vote by Christmas, and Trump just might give him his Christmas wish. With jail time looming for his family and friends, Trump may prefer to invite impeachment proceedings rather than let the law take its course.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump supporters expect the election to be over before bedtime Nov. 3 — and are bracing for violence

Published

on

President Donald Trump is behind in the polls nationally and in most battleground states, but many of his supporters are sure only fraud can sink him.

The president himself has been stoking conspiracies about fraudulent ballots, and his supporters believe he would be justified in challenging a losing result and are already blaming Trump's opponents for any violence that might break out, reported the New York Times.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump team demanded Chris Wallace ‘never mention’ 200K COVID deaths at debate: Biden campaign

Published

on

Biden campaign deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield on Tuesday claimed that President Donald Trump's team asked debate moderator Chris Wallace not to mention the number of people who have died from COVID-19 during his presidency.

Bedingfield revealed the detail of debate negotiations after the Trump campaign reportedly demanded that Democratic candidate Joe Biden's ears be inspected for listening devices, a conspiracy theory that was quickly repeated on Fox News.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Michael Flynn’s attorney claims ‘executive privilege’ — then demands judge recuse himself

Published

on

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's lawyers are trying a new tactic to try and get rid of the judge who accepted the guilty plea last year and began the sentencing phase of the trial.

The moment came after Flynn's lawyer, Sidney Powell revealed that she has spoken to the president about Flynn's case, but not before she tried to invoke executive privilege without being an executive, former Army prosecutor Glenn Kirschner tweeted. Powell never had a problem with Judge Sullivan until today. She did, however, write a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr telling him to tell the prosecutors to withdraw the charges of Flynn.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE