Reporters are whispering this week that President Trump is going to wait until Congress is out of session for the year, wait until Americans are busy finalizing their vacation plans and settling in to the long Christmas weekend…and then lower the boom on Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Yep, he’s going to wait this wretched, biased investigation out for exactly one more week and then boot Mueller out the Washington door on Friday afternoon is one of the most consequential firings in federal history.
And then things will REALLY get interesting.
Now we don’t know what to make of these rumors. Are they real? It’s not as though this is the first time we’ve heard them. Republicans and Democrats have been warning Trump not to fire Mueller since the day Mueller was brought on board, simply because he’d already fired James Comey. There’s been no solid indication from the White House that Trump has even so much as hinted that he will fire Mueller and no public reason to think that he’ll do so.
And yet…there are signs.
There can be no doubt that the last week or so have been bad ones for the Mueller investigation. First, we learned that one of his top investigators, Peter Strzok, was texting his girlfriend throughout the 2016 election with some of the most vile anti-Trump garbage imaginable. Yes, Strzok was taken off the team in August, but you have to wonder how much damage he did before that day. Then we found out this week that Mueller may have improperly obtained documents, emails, and electronic devices from the Trump transition team without giving the president’s attorneys a chance to review the records. That would be a violation of investigatory rules and, indeed, laws protecting attorney/client privilege. If these accusations hold true, much of the evidence that Mueller has in his possession will be declared inadmissible.
Furthermore, you can see the Washington establishment getting nervous. Clearly, they’ve heard the rumors as well.
“Firing Bob Mueller without cause would clearly be obstruction of justice,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).
“You have got somebody (in Mueller) who, by all accounts is an independent person, somebody who has got lots of integrity,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) on ABC’s “This Week.” “And you see a concerted effort out of the White House to undermine the investigation.”
Asked if Trump would fire Mueller, Republican Sen. John Cornyn said, “I read that the president’s own lawyer says that’s not going to happen. I think that would be a mistake.”
Would it, though?
Or would it, in fact, be wholly justified in light of the fact that Democrats (and some of their Republican NeverTrump cohorts) are trying to wring every last drop of political juice out of this nonsensical investigation? Maybe it would send the exact right message to the Washington Establishment: The people elected Donald Trump. Let him lead.