Ever since the raid on the office and residences of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the question has been asked: Will the president now try to cripple the Mueller investigation, and what exactly does he have planned?
According to White House insiders who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, Trump’s plans are to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein in the near future.
The Journal interviewed two people who have been in communication with the president this week, and he has expressed his desire to dismiss both Sessions and Rosenstein as a way of throttling the special counsel’s ongoing probe into the 2016 election. One of the sources commented:
“It’s a matter of when, not if.”
The other person who agreed to speak with the Journal on the condition of anonymity told the paper:
“Eventually, it will happen.”
The breaking point, according to the Journal, was the FBI raid on Cohen, which was:
“Not good for the long-term relationship between the president and Sessions and Rosenstein.”
Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller investigation because Sessions has recused himself from the matter, reportedly signed off on the search of Cohen’s law office, home, and a hotel room he lives in while construction work is being done on his house.
NBC News reports that even Rosenstein is expecting to get the axe in the very near future:
“In those conversations, he has repeated the phrase, ‘Here I stand,’ a reference to Martin Luther’s famous quote, ‘Here I stand, I can do no other.’ Coincidentally, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Rosenstein fired, repeated the same phrase to President George W. Bush in a conversation that has been widely reported and that Comey describes in his forthcoming book.”
What remains uncertain is how Congressional Republicans will act if Trump does indeed get rid of the top two officials at the DOJ, both of whom he appointed. While the president cannot directly fire Robert Mueller, he can appoint a new AG who isn’t recused and who could greatly hinder any further progress by the special counsel.
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