Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti has written a lengthy analysis of the revelation that President Donald Trump reportedly ordered his White House counsel to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last year -- and he concludes that the incident is much more likely to get Trump impeached.
Writing in Politico, Mariotti says that while he was once skeptical that Mueller could pin Trump for obstruction of justice, the fact that Trump tried to have Mueller fired just one month after he fired former FBI Director James Comey makes the special counsel's job much easier.
"It should be easy for Mueller to prove that Trump read or viewed legal analysis discussing the possibility that Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey," he writes. "Trump’s desire to fire Mueller despite knowing that firing a law enforcement official overseeing the Russia investigation could raise obstruction concerns is strong evidence that Trump’s intent was to obstruct the investigation."
While Mariotti acknowledges that there is still a lot of information that we don't know about Trump's actions, he thinks Mueller has a pretty strong case that Trump had corrupt intent when he first fired Comey last year.
"Thursday’s news made impeachment proceedings against Trump more likely," he concludes. "Ultimately the president’s performance in his upcoming interview with Mueller could prove decisive. Trump has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of discipline when questioned, and Mueller has a lot to work with. If Trump provides the special counsel with direct evidence of his intent when firing Comey, he could ensure that Mueller will conclude he obstructed justice, leaving his fate to Congress."