Donald Trump, nearly 18 months into his first term, still operates under the delusion that because he’s the president, he’s the boss. Granted, he does have certain powers that come with his office, but it’s not a new season of The Apprentice.
Whether he was informed or not or whether he doesn’t care, the fact that he appointed people to particular positions doesn’t mean Trump gets to do whatever he wants. Members of his cabinet swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States, not to him personally. That’s why his penchant for wanting to fire people because of an ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election remains so troubling.
The president fired Jim Comey, not because of his supposed conduct in Hillary Clinton email scandal, but because he didn’t like that Comey started a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling. Comey also refused to play along with Trump and be his mouthpiece to announce Trump wasn’t the target of the inquiry.
The only reason the Mueller investigation exists is due to Trump’s termination of Jim Comey. With Jeff Sessions having recused himself in March, Trump got the wheels in motion for an independent counsel investigation.
All because he took Jared Kushner’s advice on Comey. Smart move, stable genius.
Trump now wants to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who Trump appointed to the position) because he green-lighted the special counsel probe and named Mueller to lead it. Naturally, Trump seethed about it wants to fire Rosenstein as a result.
For whatever gorilla-math reason, Trump thinks that will pave the way for him to remove Robert Mueller as special counsel. Now comes word that Jeff Sessions, who’s been the target of Trump’s pathetic bullying attempts for over a year, will not stand idly by if Trump gives Rosenstein the boot:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently told the White House he might have to leave his job if President Trump fired his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the exchange.
Sessions made his position known in a phone call to White House counsel Donald McGahn last weekend, as Trump’s fury at Rosenstein peaked after the deputy attorney general approved the FBI’s raid April 9 on the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Sessions’ message to the White House, which has not previously been reported, underscores the political firestorm that Trump would invite should he attempt to remove the deputy attorney general. While Trump also has railed against Sessions at times, the protest resignation of an attorney general — which would be likely to incite other departures within the administration — would create a moment of profound crisis for the White House.
The problem is, Trump doesn’t see it that way. The profound crisis issue doesn’t matter to him as much as the approval of Sean Hannity, Diamond & Silk and Tucker Carlson. Look at social media and Trump supporters (many with prominent followings) urging Trump to clean house and fire Rosenstein, Sessions and have Mueller removed.
For them would be the ultimate MAGA move. Watching the saner voices in the Trump administration depart, one can’t help but wonder just how long it will take for Trump to throw caution to the wind and do what he wants.
If Trump does take that leap, he will fume when he learns the investigation will not go away and should the Democrats take back control of the House; it will virtually assure his impeachment (though his removal would be unlikely). It will also guarantee numerous House investigations that will give him more reason to seethe and tweet, creating only more turmoil.
But the wheels of justice will keep spinning.