Is Trump considering firing Robert Mueller?

Is Trump buddy Ruddy dropping the idea down the well to see if there is a splash?

Donald Trump is considering dismissing the special counsel assigned to the Russia investigation, a confidant said on Monday.

Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told PBS Newshour that Trump is “considering perhaps terminating” Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who was appointed to run the investigation into Russian influence on the campaign by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 17.

Asked later if Trump is really considering firing Mueller, Ruddy said: “Yes.”

A White House official told me that “Chris was speaking for himself and did not speak to the president.”

If Trump is going to do it, he should do it on Saturday Night. Everyone loves historical continuity.

More here.

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10 Responses to Is Trump considering firing Robert Mueller?

  1. fasttimes says:

    my Dad and i were talking about that this weekend.

    aside from the obvious media outrage, what are the downsides?

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Maybe none. Maybe huge. It is hard to tell. I suppose that unknown aspect to it would be why Trump would ask a friend to trial balloon the idea. He is attempting to see what would happen while maintaining plausible deniability.

      When Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox it resulted in a cascade of resignations that dragged his embattled administration underwater once and for all.

      The night he was fired, Cox’s deputy prosecutor and press aides held an impassioned news briefing and read the following statement from him, “Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people.”

      On November 14, 1973, federal district judge Gerhard Gesell ruled firing Cox was illegal absent a finding of extraordinary impropriety as specified in the regulation establishing the special prosecutor’s office. Congress was infuriated by what it saw as a gross abuse of presidential power as did many Americans, who sent an unusually large number of telegrams to the White House and Congress in protest.

      • fasttimes says:

        “On November 14, 1973, federal district judge Gerhard Gesell ruled firing Cox was illegal absent a finding of extraordinary impropriety as specified in the regulation establishing the special prosecutor’s office. Congress was infuriated by what it saw as a gross abuse of presidential power as did many Americans, who sent an unusually large number of telegrams to the White House and Congress in protest.”

        i don’t get this. the president appoints the special prosecutor, he can just as easily fire him. it should be a lesson, what the gov’t gives, it can take away. so to the potus.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          All kinds of ill-defined balance of powers stuff going on. All the more reason to be careful.

          • fasttimes says:

            i agree, but this is a difference in my mind between not liking something and it actually being illegal.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              Point of order: It might be illegal if Trump fires him directly. Trump would need to get the second in command at Justice to fire him. Sessions can’t because he has recused himself from the Russia investigation. Of course the second at Justice could resign rather than do it just like in ’73. Then things get ugly.

              Some might argue that Trump could do it because the POTUS has ultimate law enforcement power. That is something even Nixon wouldn’t try. That would definitely create a constitutional crisis that would end up dragging in the other two branches.

              The second in command at Justice is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is the acting attorney general for purposes of the Russia investigation. I am guessing Trump officials are feeling him out to see if he would fire Mueller as ordered or resign.

              Recall that Rosenstein was the guy Trump threw under the bus regarding the firing of Comey.

    • DocO says:

      The downsides are in my estimation:

      1) Adds another analogous data point to the Democratic/MSM narrative that Trump is obstructing justice, just like Nixon did, just like Watergate. Someone will note, history doesn’t repeat, but it often rhymes.

      2) Many republicans in the Senate and House who are weak allies at best will simply abandon any support for Trump’s agenda and judge that their best bet for reelection is distancing themselves from Trump.

      3) As a consequence of point 1 above, Trump will not be able to get out his message on his agenda. He will always be responding to the media pushing the Watergate narrative. Sometimes, after you’ve mortally wounded an alligator, the best thing to do is just let it die on its own. If you try to administer a coup-de-gras to a thrashing gator, you may just end up getting yourself killed.

      • R.D. Walker says:

        If he was fired and enough Republicans in the House and Senate were pissed, they and Democrats could pass a veto-proof law reinstating Mueller. Then there would be nothing Trump could do at all. He would have taken a radical step, burned credibility and landed in a worse spot than he is now.

        I should imagine that scenario would leave Trump a lame duck president for the rest of his time in office. I don’t think, however, is it likely to happen.

        • DocO says:

          Nothing good can come from Trump firing Mueller, but if past is prologue, then Mueller will be fired.

  2. R.D. Walker says:

    If Trump Fires Mueller (Or Orders His Firing)

    This seems like such a bad idea—for the nation, and for the President—that I have a hard time believing it is a live possibility. I hope it is no more than wishful thinking or encouragement on the part of the Trump allies. Perhaps it is a giant troll. As I write this there is no way to tell. Nonetheless, in the hope that this proves to be an irrelevant exercise, I sketch below what I think would happen if Trump did, in fact, decide he wanted Mueller gone. There are legal issues as well as non-legal ones, which I consider in turn. (This post was written quickly—I will adjust it if necessary as others weigh in.)