One of President Trump’s lawyers on Sunday would not rule out that the special counsel overseeing the Russia criminal investigation could get fired. President Trump lawyer won’t rule out Special Counsel Robert Mueller getting fired:
On ABC News’ “This Week,” attorney Jay Sekulow evaded a direct question about whether Trump would promise not to interfere with the probe run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“Look, the President of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive,” Sekulow said.
“But the President is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside. And I’m not going to speculate on what he will or will not do.”
He added, “I can’t imagine that that issue is going to arise. But that again is an issue that the President with his advisers would discuss if there was a basis.”
“Unitary executive“? We’ve heard this phrase before. The unitary executive theory “asserts that all executive authority must be in the President’s hands, without exception.” Presidential power “must be unilateral, and unchecked.” The phrase “unitary executive” is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power, from the twisted mind of Dick Cheney.
On Monday, the spawn of Satan and disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, as Charles Pierce observes, should have “already moved along to his role as a part-time gargoyle at the Vatican by now” after his wife Callista Gingrich was nominated to be ambassador to the Vatican, is leading a growing chorus of Trump sycophants in the right-wing media calling on Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Gingrich’s Twitter objection is that some of Mueller’s staff have made small-time contribututions to Democratic candidates over the years, so ipso facto, they must be biased and pursuing a “witch hunt” as Dear Leader claims.
It would never occur to Gingrich and the shills in the right-wing media that professionals in law and law enforcement are professionals who do their jobs. Not everyone is motivated solely by partisan political advantage, because that is the prism through which Gingrich views everything in life and operates. Not everyone is as amoral and evil as he is.
Matthew Yglesias summarized the emerging consensus among Trump’s media allies making the case for firing Robert Mueller. Then late Monday, right-wing media mogul and Trump friend Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media, who was at the White House on Monday, said on PBS’s “NewsHour” that Mr. Trump was “considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel.” Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel:
“I think he’s weighing that option,” Mr. Ruddy said.
His comments appeared to take the White House by surprise.
“Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement hours later. “With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”
Allies of the president cast doubt on the idea that Mr. Trump would take such a drastic step, and White House officials said Mr. Ruddy had not met directly with the president while he was there.
So why would Ruddy publicly state that Trump indicated to him that he is “considering terminating the special counsel” after he just left the White House, on a day when other Trump surrogates were also suggesting the same? I’m not buying it. This is a trial balloon by the right-wing media to lay the groundwork for the eventuality of Trump terminating the special counsel.
This is Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” scenario of firing special prosecutor Archibald Cox from the Watergate investigation. As the New York Times explains:
Under Justice Department rules, Mr. Trump would seemingly have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to rescind department regulations protecting a special counsel from being fired for no good reason, and then to fire Mr. Mueller. If Mr. Rosenstein refused, Mr. Trump could fire him, too — a series of events that would recall the “Saturday Night Massacre” during Watergate, when President Richard M. Nixon sought to dismiss a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein testified this morning that he would not carry out any order from the president to fire Mr. Muller unless there were good cause to do so. Rosenstein Vows Mueller Will Have Independence in Russia Inquiry:
“I’m not going to follow any orders unless I believe that those are lawful and appropriate orders,” Mr. Rosenstein said, adding: “If there were good cause, I would consider. If there were not good cause, it would not matter what anybody says.”
What exactly does he mean?
Mr. Rosenstein did not say what he would do if Mr. Trump first ordered the department to rescind the regulation, which would permit Mr. Mueller to be fired for any reason.
There is a concerted effort by the right-wing media, the fever swamp from which Trump emerged as a Birther conspiracy theorist, to fire Robert Mueller.
The criticism of Mr. Mueller has intensified in recent days, spreading from Trump surrogates like Mr. Gingrich to powerful media personalities like Rush Limbaugh. On his radio program last week, Mr. Limbaugh endorsed the suggestion that Mr. Trump fire Mr. Mueller.
Mark Levin, another prominent radio host, has also called for Mr. Mueller’s firing. “Mueller must step aside,” he wrote on Facebook over the weekend.
On Monday, other Trump allies like the conservative provocateur Ann Coulter picked up on the theme. “Sessions never should’ve recused himself,” she tweeted. “Now that we know TRUMP IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION, Sessions should take it back & fire Mueller.”
Much of the criticism has focused on whether Mr. Mueller is too close to Mr. Comey. The two became friends after working closely together during the Bush administration.
Democrats accused Republicans on Monday of beginning a campaign to smear Mr. Mueller’s reputation as he engages in a broad investigation that could include whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by pressuring Mr. Comey to end parts of the inquiry and then by firing him.
Trump and his right-wing media allies are laying the groundwork for a constitutional crisis. It is doubtful that Tea-Publicans in Congress, who put party loyalty before country, will do their constitutional duty to rein in a president abusing his power to engage in obstruction of justice.
What happens at that point is an open question.