In the wake of the FBI raids on the home and offices of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, Trump may be preparing to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. According to some recent remarks he has made, he may even be considering firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Upon hearing of the raid — in which the FBI “seized the privileged communications between” Cohen and Trump, according to Cohen’s lawyer — the president took a moment during a press conference about the situation in Syria to make statement about the raid, saying, in part:
So, I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys — a good man. And it’s a disgraceful situation. It’s a total witch hunt. I’ve been saying it for a long time. I’ve wanted to keep it down. We’ve given, I believe, over a million pages worth of documents to the special counsel.
After describing the raid as part of a “witch hunt” that has been “constantly going on for over 12 months now — and actually, much more than that” since “it was right after I won the nomination, it started,” the president said, “And it’s a disgrace. It’s, frankly, a real disgrace. It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.”
President Trump went on to say:
So they find no collusion, and then they go from there and they say, “Well, let’s keep going.” And they raid an office of a personal attorney early in the morning. And I think it’s a disgrace. So we’ll be talking about it more. But this is the most conflicted group of people I’ve ever seen.
The Attorney General made a terrible mistake when he did this, and when he recused himself. Or he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself, and we would have used a — put a different Attorney General in. So he made what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. But you’ll figure that out.
It’s the addition of that last little bit — “But you’ll figure that out” — that opens the possibility of Sessions finding himself on the list of former members of the Trump administration. Especially following so closely behind the statement about “put[ting] a different Attorney General in.”
As far as Mueller is concerned, given that his probe is based on fabricated information and has been conducted in ways that make a loose canon look tame by comparison, it would not likely shock anyone if he were fired. Added to that, Trump’s remarks about Sessions making “a terrible mistake when he did this, and when he recused himself.” It was, after all, Sessions’ recusal of himself that opened the door to the appointment of Mueller as a special counsel.
But it was the question and answer session following the president’s remarks that really lit the fire. After answering an asinine question about whether he was worried about what the FBI might find in the seized communication by saying, “No, I’m not,” the president was asked, “Why don’t you just fire Mueller?” The president responded by saying:
Well, I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens. But I think it’s really a sad situation when you look at what happened. And many people have said, “You should fire him.”
Again, they found nothing. And in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.
By saying, “We’ll see what happens,” the president has clearly left open the option of firing Mueller. That possibility is given a boost by Trump’s remark that “many people have” advised him to fire the special counsel.
But President Trump wasn’t ready to wrap up his answer and take the next question just yet. He added:
If you know the person who’s in charge of the investigation, you know about that. Deputy Rosenstein — Rod Rosenstein — he wrote the letter, very critical, of Comey.
One of the things they said: “I fired Comey.” Well, I turned out to do the right thing, because if you look at all of the things that he’s done and the lies, and you look at what’s gone on at the FBI with the “insurance policy” and all of the things that happened — turned out I did the right thing.
The bit about the “insurance policy” was a reference to the recovered text messages between two FBI agents who discussed a “secret society” within the FBI and DOJ that had an “insurance policy” to deal with Trump if he were elected. That “insurance policy” seems — at least in part — to be the Trump/Russia collusion narrative that led to the Mueller probe.
Using that, Trump then segued into what appears to be his real point in bringing up Rosenstein:
But he [Rosenstein] signed — as you know, he also signed the FISA warrant. So Rod Rosenstein, who’s in charge of this, signed a FISA warrant, and he also signed a letter that was essentially saying to fire James Comey. And he was right about that. He was absolutely right.
So we’ll see what happens. I think it’s disgraceful, and so does a lot of other people. This is a pure and simple witch hunt.
There’s that phrase again: “We’ll see what happens.”
It seems the president is both fed up with being the victim of a “witch hunt” and willing to keep his options open. And it is apparent that those options include firing Mueller, Rosenstein, or Sessions — possibly all three.
And while Trump’s enemies in politics and the media are crouched in the striking position to paint any or all of those firings in the same scandalous light as they did his firing of Comey, two things are noteworthy. First, the president has the right and the authority to fire anyone who — as part of the Executive Branch — serves at his pleasure. Period. Second, by bringing the firing of Comey into the conversation about whom he may choose to fire, the president seems to making the point that just like he did after the firing of Comey, he is prepared to weather the storm that will certainly ensue.
Perhaps Mueller, Rosenstein, and Sessions should dust off their résumés. Since each of them is seen as playing a part in a “witch hunt” Trump is ready to put to rest, their time serving at his pleasure is likely to be coming to an end.
This is a developing story and The New American will continue to keep our readers updated.
Photo of President Trump: AP Images