Ok, so as noted earlier, Donald Trump has three options at this point in light of the indictments that came down this morning against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.
The first (and most prudent) option would be to just shut up and work behind the scenes via attorneys to stymie this thing for as long as possible and hope that it either fades away or else lasts three goddamn years at which point the President could simply choose not to run again. Obviously, Trump won’t go that route because he never does anything that could be even remotely described as “prudent.”
He could conceivably fire Mueller and risk triggering a constitutional crisis. As Chuck Schumer plainly stated this morning, that would lead to a truly horrendous backlash on Capitol Hill and it would leave everything – tax reform, health care, all of it – dead in the water.
The only other option is for Trump to start pardoning people, but remember, pardon power is supposed to be an act of mercy, not a tool to be used to insulate the presidency from criminal charges. If he starts pardoning people, it’s difficult to imagine that it won’t create the same kind of turmoil that firing Mueller would invariably create.
Well go ahead and time stamp it, because both the President’s Lawyer Sekulow and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have ruled out firing the special counsel.
“President Trump is not firing the special counsel,” Sekulow told CNN this afternoon, adding that “the president is not interfering.” Further, Sekulow claims that pardons are “not something that is on the table.”
Cobb is saying the same thing:
- WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL COBB SAYS TRUMP WON’T FIRE MUELLER
Meanwhile, Sanders was in full damage control mode, parroting the line that this is not about Trump, a contention that is akin to saying the grass isn’t green.
- SANDERS: MUELLER PROBE ANNOUNCEMENTS HAVE NOTHING TO DO W/TRUMP
- SANDERS: NO EVIDENCE OF TRUMP-RUSSIA COLLUSION; NO CHANGE NOW
She also claiming that George Papadopoulos played a “limited role” in the campaign. I guess that depends on what your definition of “limited” is. You can decide for yourself by reading this. Here’s a fun clip:
Sarah Sanders describes Papadopoulos' role as "a member of a volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year." pic.twitter.com/ahIAyQwcgg
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 30, 2017
That brings to mind this Sean Spicer classic:
In March, Sean Spicer said Paul Manafort had "played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time" in Trump's campaign. pic.twitter.com/ATGm9wRGjN
— ABC News (@ABC) October 30, 2017
And finally, the punchline from Sanders:
- I HAVE INDICATIONS THAT THE MUELLER PROBE WILL END SOON
Again: time stamp it.