The investigation by Robert Mueller began by Trump’s own hand. When, on 09 May 2017, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, he set the wheels in motion for the appointment of a Special Counsel, for the firing looked suspicious from the beginning. According to Comey, Trump had asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to Trump, and had also requested that Comey drop the investigation into Michael Flynn’s activities as related to the Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election. Comey refused on both counts. So, Trump instigated, unknowingly and unwittingly, the appointment of Robert Mueller.
Robert Mueller has conducted his investigation in the most professional manner, selecting his team members carefully to ward off any question of impropriety, and even relieving one of duty when he allegedly sent text messages to his girlfriend that were critical of Trump. There has not been so much as a breath of scandal from any of his team, no leaks, nothing inappropriate. He has operated, as he must, under a cloak of silence. However, when Michael Flynn pleaded guilty as charged, and others were either indicted or pled guilty, including George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, it became impossible to keep everything under wraps, and it was obvious that Mike Flynn was willingly cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
All of this sent panic throughout Team Trump, and now we are seeing some pushback from Trump’s minions who are running scared and when they get scared, they turn to lies, insinuations, conspiracy theories and unjustified attacks, for they have no legitimate grounds to counter the reality that in all likelihood, Donald Trump himself was responsible for much of the Russian attempts to skew our election.
So, what is happening and why does it matter?
Critics, especially among the state-media such as Fox, Breitbart and the Wall Street Journal, (it should be noted that Fox and the Wall Street Journal are both owned by Rupert Murdoch, a large donor of Trump’s) have been calling for Mueller to be fired almost since day #1, so it may be easy to just write off the latest as just more smoke and mirrors from Trump and his paid media outlets. But the tone and frequency has increased, as the panic level among Trump & Co. rises. A few examples …
- “Mueller is corrupt. The senior FBI is corrupt. The system is corrupt.” – Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House
- “There is a cleansing needed at the FBI and Department of Justice. It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired but need to be taken out in handcuffs.” – Fox host Jeanine Pirro
- A conservative watchdog group has filed a lawsuit to pry loose information about special counsel investigators.
- “A witch hunt continues against the president with tremendous bias, no purpose and no end in sight.” – Representative Matt Gaetz
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders signaled that the White House has concerns that the special counsel might be biased against Trump.
It should be noted that these are vague attacks, with no basis in fact, not attacking anything that Mueller has done or failed to do, just that he must be corrupt if he is investigating Trump. Mueller’s investigation and the criminal charges he has brought so far appear solid and do not suggest any partisan bias. In fact, it should further be noted that both Robert Mueller and James Comey are registered republicans.
What could happen next?
Could Trump fire Mueller? Of course … he could order Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller, or if Rosenstein refused, he would be forced to resign just as were Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus when they refused to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. But, going down the line of succession, Trump would ultimately find someone willing to sacrifice values and fire Mueller, just as Solicitor General Robert Bork fired Cox. So, the answer to the question is yes, Trump can have Mueller fired. What happens if he does?
John Q. Barrett, a St. John’s University law professor, says “Robert Mueller is widely perceived as a competent and credible law enforcement official. As long as he doesn’t do something to jeopardize that, Trump would have no justification for dismissing him. And if he did, he’d have to appoint an equally credible replacement, or there would be really catastrophic political consequences.”
Comforting, but still, with both chambers of Congress in control of the republicans and seemingly willing to do Trump’s bidding these days, I would rather not put Barrett’s theory to the test. I think the investigation has passed the point of no return and cannot be shut down, but it could certainly be delayed, and I think it is imperative that we know the truth, and the sooner the better.
Keep your eyes on the ball, folks, for I cannot predict where this will go. Ordinarily, I would say that a president would be a damn fool to fire the Special Counsel at this point, for it would be a blatant admission of guilt. But these are, as we all know, not normal times and Trump is not a normal ‘president’. When he panics, he is irrational … wait, he is irrational at all times! So, if he feels threatened enough, I do not know what he might do. Remember that there are many distractions and smokescreens out there, so don’t be distracted, and try to keep up with the critical issues.
Note to readers: I initially identified three areas that I felt had to be addressed post haste, the Alabama senate election, the tax reform bill reconciliation, and the attacks on the Mueller investigation. I have since been advised by at least three readers, and granddaughter Miss Goose, that I need to include a fourth topic, Net Neutrality, to the list. You are all correct, and I shall address that one tomorrow. For tonight, Filosofa is 10-7, over and out.