Opinion: Is Trump crazy enough to fire Mueller? You know the answer

Special counsel Robert Mueller (AP)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has become an eager remora, or sharksucker, to Donald Trump’s ever-moving shark, attaching himself to the new predator at the top of the GOP food chain and dedicating himself to cleaning, protecting  and polishing the Trumpian image.

Bad as that duty sounds, it does have its compensations. Newt publishes a fawning new biography of our 45th president, “Understanding Trump,” with a forward by Eric Trump; the president names Newt’s wife Callista to be ambassador to the Vatican. Everybody’s happy.

But there are also challenges. Last month, for example, the highly respected Robert Mueller was named as special counsel to investigate Russia’s intervention into our election and into any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Initially, Gingrich could not have been happier:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The former speaker was hardly alone. Republicans and Democrats alike lined up to sing Mueller’s praises as the perfect choice, a man with no partisan passions who would go where the facts led, and whose work would be trusted by all sides.

But the shark wasn’t happy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and now the remora isn’t either:

Others in the right-wing media are picking up the theme as well, launching an all-out attack on Mueller’s credibility and integrity. On Fox News Monday night, Sean Hannity proclaimed it “time to shut down this political witch hunt.” Radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, among others, have also joined the chorus.

NewsMax founder Christopher Ruddy, a close Trump ally and longtime friend, says the president is seriously considering the step, which Ruddy argues would be a major mistake. And while the White House is pushing back on the story, the official line is that it’s “unlikely” that Trump would try to fire Mueller, which is a far cry from saying it would never happen and isn’t even being considered.

So how did Mueller go from a man with an “impeccable reputation for honesty and integrity” to a man allegedly conducting a partisan witch hunt against the president? The answer is that Mueller hasn’t changed at all. What has changed are the circumstances.

Since Mueller’s appointment, James Comey has testified under oath to the Senate that Trump had pressured him to end the investigation and possible prosecution of Trump ally Michael Flynn. He also told the Senate that he had been fired by Trump as FBI director for continuing to investigate possible collusion with Russia, and that Trump had repeatedly tried to solicit pledges of personal loyalty from Comey.¹

In addition, Mueller has assembled a top-notch prosecutorial and investigative team, indicating that he’s taking this very seriously. In the past, some of those team members have given campaign donations to Democrats, giving conservatives all the excuse they need to attack them as partisans out to destroy the president, facts be damned.

In a way, I wish Trump would go ahead and do it, just to speed this national tragedy along a bit faster. He technically does have the authority to fire Mueller, although the order would have to be carried out by top Justice Department officials who might very well resign rather than obey it. Firing Mueller would demonstrate once and for all the contempt that Trump feels for the checks and balances built into the system and force Republicans in Congress to make a choice for which they could then be held accountable.

In the meantime, Mueller’s firing will loom over the ongoing drama like Chekhov’s gun, named after the great 19th century playwright Anton Chekhov — a Russian of course.

“If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off,” Chekhov advised his fellow writers. “If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

The prospect of Mueller’s firing is now hanging there, for everybody to see. The suspense for the audience is how long Trump can sit there stewing, staring at that rifle, knowing it’s there, without pulling it down from the wall and using it.


¹Anybody who witnessed Monday’s Cabinet meeting, in which Trump’s top appointees groveled before Trump and competed to sing his public praises, saw just how important such pledges must be to the president.

Reader Comments 0

2142 comments
hisine
hisine

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Jan Meyer
Jan Meyer

Crazy? Ethical enough to fire him!!

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

The Dork announces he is sending a documentary file crew to Washington to review the shooting today, The World Needs To Know

Menace
Menace

@Infraredguy  Thought Trump was already in DC.  Or is he playing golf in FL again?

JK1951
JK1951

Mueller should recuse himself without being fired. He's too close to Comey and was part of the FBI ineptitude from the beginning.

Techmate
Techmate

What we are seeing is the emergence in this version of the GOP of the "Skunk Republicans" (they see everything in black and white, they don't play well with Others, they stink up the place when they are argued with).  Skunk Republicans place themselves over country. Although they brag about family values and patriotism and equality for all, they are the guardians of the 1%. SAD!!!

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@skruorangeclown


eh. I am sure Deputy AG would resign before he fires Mueller. So I think we are safe in that regard.

Mary
Mary

Evidence of another loon! Go back to bed.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@McGarnagle @skruorangeclown  I agree that Rosenstein would resign before he fired Mueller - Trump and Sessions would just find someone else to do the deed.  That's what Nixon did.

Mary
Mary

No. You!

td1234
td1234

@McGarnagle You evidently are not reading how the Republican base feels. They want Trump to fire him and will back the move if the President decided to do it. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @McGarnagle Republican base does not represent the entire country.  There is a resist movement that is bigger than any republican base can ever imagine.  American citizens want to know what has Trump done and who is he complicit with.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Your idiot base can't win the midterms without help.

If Trump's approvals head for the toilet kiss the legislative branch buh bye.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@PaulinNH Reliable News outlet says Mueller was already fired by Trump before he took the job.

Denise285
Denise285

Most of the violence can be linked to the way that Trump campaigned. He advocated for violence on many occasions. He has embraced this type of behavior.

https://youtu.be/P9d795M0m-k

Mary
Mary

Of course, it's somebody else's fault. He made me do it. Geez. This is the problem.

Denise285
Denise285

I didn't say that it was someone else's fault...just Trump's culture and rallies. It must be amnesia on behalf of some...sad day in America!

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Denise285 How about the divisive rhetoric and profanity delivered in speech after speech by new DNC head Tom Perez toward the Trump administration. The visuals lately in social media and on stage of Trump's Beheading and his assassination in a Shakespeare in the park play. I suppose these items had little or no effect on some disturbed individual who turned his weapon on GOP congressmen this morning. If it makes you feel better to blame Trump for this violence , well .....

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Suspect is captured alive after shooting multiple people with a rifle?

skruorangeclown
skruorangeclown

@BuckeyeGa Just exercising his Second Amendment rights . Has anything changed since Oswald shot Kennedy? or Giffords got shot?

At least a Republican and NRA supporter got shot this time.

Mary
Mary

U are a FAHP. Oh, and a punk.

Mary
Mary

Now the gun made him do it.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@skruorangeclown @BuckeyeGa I don't feel the congressman deserved to be shot...it's just interesting the police didn't fear for their lives(after policeman were shot) and kill the suspect.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Mary Point to where  someone said the gun made him do it?

Mary
Mary

Mighty kind of you to think he did not deserve to be shot. At least that a step in the right direction

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Mary You've been trollin hard the past couple of days..having a rough week huh.