Donald Trump is now reportedly floating the idea of firing Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, according to The New York Times.
Atkinson, of course, is the individual who took the Ukraine whistleblower complaint seriously and reported it to Congress.
The report notes that Trump, the mob boss that he thinks he is, “does not understand why Mr. Atkinson shared the complaint, which outlined how Mr. Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals at the same time he was withholding military aid from the country.”
According to The Times, Trump thinks that Atkinson “has been disloyal,” which is just another indication that he believes anybody who works in the government – from the FBI director to the attorney general – should be loyal to him, not the country or the Constitution.
More from The New York Times:
Inspectors general are supposed to be insulated from politics so they can follow the facts and provide oversight of the executive branch. While presidents have the authority to remove them, they are supposed to take that action only in cases of misconduct or failure to fulfill duties.
People close to the president believe the political consequences of firing Mr. Atkinson could be devastating, especially when Mr. Trump needs all the Republican support he can get for a potential impeachment trial in the Senate.
Republicans are panicking over the possible firing
Republicans in the Senate are nervous that Trump will move forward with firing Atkinson, which would only make it harder to defend the president at a time when they’re already struggling.
According to The Hill, “Two Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), are warning President Trump not to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.”
Sen. Cornyn said such a move would be “counterproductive,” while Sen. Collins said she “would oppose” the possible firing.
At the end of the day, Trump’s behind-the-scenes desire to fire Michael Atkinson confirms what most of the country already knows: Trump has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and he’s just upset that he got caught.