And the hits just keep coming.
To be clear, everyone knows Donald Trump wants to fire Rod Rosenstein and once it was confirmed that the Deputy AG had personally signed off on the Monday FBI raid of Michael Cohen’s offices, home, and hotel room, everyone went ahead and assumed that it was just a matter of time before the President moved against the DoJ.
We wrote about this earlier, reminding you that implicated in Devin Nunes’s infamous “memo” were all the people you’d expect to be implicated given what it is Trump’s trying to do. In fact, it almost seems like he could have sent Nunes a list of people who he wanted named because there was Comey, McCabe, Yates, and of course Rosenstein.
Only one of those people hasn’t yet been fired or otherwise forced out and that person is Rosenstein who just happens to be overseeing the Mueller probe. Imagine that.
This is what Trump said about ol’ Rod on February 2 when asked if he still had confidence in him:
And this is what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Tuesday afternoon when asked about Rosenstein:
On Monday evening, following the Cohen news, Trump once again threw Jeff Sessions under the bus for recusing himself before lashing out at the Mueller investigation itself.
Bottom line: Trump is probably going to fire Rosenstein, Sessions, Mueller or maybe all three. Sure enough, on Tuesday evening, CNN is reporting that Trump is indeed thinking of getting rid of Rosenstein in order to try and stymie Mueller. To wit:
President Donald Trump is considering firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, multiple people familiar with the discussions tell CNN, a move that has gained urgency following the raid of the office of the President’s personal lawyer.
Such an action could potentially further Trump’s goal of trying to put greater limits on special counsel Robert Mueller.
This is one of several options — including going so far as to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Trump is weighing in the aftermath of the FBI’s decision Monday to raid the office of Michael Cohen, the President’s personal lawyer and longtime confidant. Officials say if Trump acts, Rosenstein is his most likely target, but it’s unclear whether even such a dramatic firing like this would be enough to satisfy the President.
That’s either not news or big news, depending on how you want to look at it.
I mean on one hand, everyone knows Trump is dying to clean house at the Justice Department and his response to the Cohen raid was to immediately blame the DoJ. So it’s not like everyone doesn’t already know what the President is thinking. On the other hand, this is the President of the United States considering firing the Deputy AG and/or the AG in order to undercut a probe into possible collusion and obstruction of justice. In that sense, it’s a huge deal. Also note this:
👀 One important consequence of Trump firing Rosenstein and replacing him with lackey: If Mueller finds evidence of obstruction but opts not to charge bc POTUS of constitutional concerns, new DAG can choose *not* to make report public and keep it under wraps. https://t.co/9dYVnMnutX
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) April 10, 2018
And speaking of undercutting that special counsel probe, the New York Times is out with a bombshell of their own. Back in January, the Times reported that Trump tried to fire Mueller last summer only to have Don McGahn threaten to quit if the President pushed the issue. Well on Tuesday evening, we learn that Trump tried to fire Mueller again in December. Here’s the Times:
In early December, President Trump, furious over news reports about a new round of subpoenas from the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, told advisers in no uncertain terms that Mr. Mueller’s investigation had to be shut down.
The president’s anger was fueled by reports that the subpoenas were for obtaining information about his business dealings with Deutsche Bank, according to interviews with eight White House officials, people close to the president and others familiar with the episode. To Mr. Trump, the subpoenas suggested that Mr. Mueller had expanded the investigation in a way that crossed the “red line” he had set last year in an interview with The New York Times.
In the hours that followed Mr. Trump’s initial anger over the Deutsche Bank reports, his lawyers and advisers worked quickly to learn about the subpoenas, and ultimately were told by Mr. Mueller’s office that the reports were not accurate, leading the president to back down.
Mr. Trump’s quick conclusion that the erroneous news reports warranted firing Mr. Mueller is also an insight Mr. Trump’s state of mind about the special counsel.
Apparently, Trump is so unhinged that his aides and advisers have “become conditioned to wait until Mr. Trump had raised an issue at least three times before acting on it.” That according to sources.
You can bet your ass he’s raised the issue of firing Rosenstein “at least three times” since Monday evening.
In any event, this is just further evidence to support the contention that America is stumbling towards a constitutional crisis. It would hardly be surprising to see Trump act on these impulses in the days ahead.
For now, we’ll leave you with one tweet to consider in light of the above:
Some news – Dershowitz has been at the White House for part of today as Trump seeks his input, and he’s supposed to have dinner with the president tonight, per WH sources
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 10, 2018