Rachel Maddow sounded the alarm on Monday, saying that while it’s important to focus on the possibility that Robert Mueller may be fired, it’s not the only scenario that could result in a full-blown constitutional crisis.
According to Maddow, the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia could be derailed without the firing of Mueller.
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) December 19, 2017
All of these swirling beltway reports right now that the president is seriously considering what means he has to impede the Mueller investigation, to block it somehow. If he gets any sort of reason to fire Rod Rosenstein, that will get them a good distance down that road. The president does have options if he wants to start firing people in the Mueller investigation. … But what if it’s not Robert Mueller who gets fired? What if it’s Rod Rosenstein or Jeff Sessions, either of whom could start the process that would result in the end of the Mueller investigation? The Republican effort to try to undermine and create a politically plausible pretense for firing him has gone through a bunch of different iterations since this investigation started. And it’s one thing to see the attempt to create that pretense from the White House or from pro-Trump members of Congress. It is another thing to see it from the Justice Department itself.
As Maddow noted, there has appropriately been a focus on the chaos that would ensue if Trump decided to fire Robert Mueller, who is leading the increasingly explosive special counsel investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia during last year’s election.
But it’s important to remember that the president can still achieve his obvious goal of thwarting the Russia investigation without directly firing Robert Mueller. And perhaps with all the attention focused on Mueller, he would be more likely to take that route. As Maddow said, he could force the ousting of either Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, both scenarios which could set in motion the end of the Mueller investigation.
In either of those cases, Congress and the American people should be equally alarmed and act accordingly.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.