Trump, on November 7, 2018, fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions submitted his resignation but there should be no doubt but that it came at Trump’s request, or rather, at his demands. The Acting Attorney General Trump just appointed is Matthew G. Whitaker who was Sessions chief of staff.
Talk about making a highly questionable choice for Acting Attorney General. In a very short time after the Trump announcement, the media reported that Whitaker made statements in the past that indicated he thought that this investigation should not have even been initiated. He has been known as a very harsh critic of it for some time.
While the departure of Sessions was expected, it still represents a political bombshell that could adversely affect Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian hacking.
Whitaker will probably review all the key evidence that Mueller has and could give Trump a breakdown of everything involved. For him to give this president the evidence against various individuals, including him, would be a very deceitful and unethical thing to do.
So, if he hasn’t already done it, Mueller better initiate a process to copy and protect all the key evidence he has gathered. There is the distinct danger that if he is fired all that evidence would be sent to Trump and it would never be turned over to Congress or made public. If his investigation is put on hold or ended, he could turn it over to the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff.
It is very important that Mueller concludes his investigation as soon as possible. Then he would have to send the report and findings to Whitaker. Whitaker should follow Justice Dept. policy and send the report to Congress. If he refuses that would ignite a firestorm in Congress and he would come under massive fire.
If Mueller has plans to indict anyone else, Roger Stone or Trump Jr. he should do so just as quickly as possible or Whitaker might put a hold on any more of such actions.
One way or another Trump is determined to put an end to this investigation, what he calls a “hoax”, a “witch hunt” because he knows that, if Mueller’s report is handed over to Congress, it could be the beginning of the end for him.
There is one possible way by which the investigation can be protected so Whitaker or a new Attorney General could not end it. The Senate could introduce legislation that would do just that. This may be possible because many Republicans do not want to see it interrupted, and so they would probably vote to pass the legislation.
If Trump decided to veto the legislation I think that the combination of Republicans and Democrats could easily override it.
What are the chances that Democrats could actually impeach Trump when they take over the House? As we know the Senate rules say that it will take a two-thirds majority vote, or votes of at least 67 Senators, to impeach a president. Normally there would be no chance whatsoever that Senates Republicans would ever vote to impeach a president of their party. But this is not at all a normal situation at all and here’s why.
Why would Republicans turn against their leader? Certainly not because they suddenly awakened and decided to follow the principles of ethics to just do what is right. No, it’s because if they see very clear and damning evidence that Mueller presented would be of such magnitude that they could not possibly dismiss or totally reject it.
What are the chances that Mueller definitely has this kind of damning evidence? Well, he and his team have been relentless in gathering all sorts of facts and evidence in this hacking investigation for some time. He has indicted key former advisers and associates of Trump and most have pled guilty and agreed to cooperate with him.
When serious-minded Trump supporters see the evidence that involves some form of conspiring with a foreign nation to do harm to America, or obstruction of justice on the part of Trump and/or his family or associates, they will know that they have been deceived and a great many will totally disassociate themselves from the president.
It’s difficult to determine if Whitaker can fire the special counsel but I came across this article that says he can if there is “cause.” That’s a bit murky, to say the least, but I doubt if he could find an appropriate cause. And if such an acting general, or even a newly appointed one, tried to make up a phony cause for firing him, it would be rejected.
In a recent New York Times article by George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Trump, says that Whitaker cannot become acting Attorney General unless he is approved by the Senate. Lawyer Andrew Napolitano of Fox News says the same thing. It’s a good bet that, if that’s the case, then Whitaker, because of his strong opposition to this investigation, would not be approved.
In the article, Conway says, “Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker once argued that American presidents had such broad executive power that they could order any federal investigation be stopped without obstructing justice.” This guy is cut out of the same cloth as Trump, yet another master of the art of total control.
When Trump tries to get a new Attorney General approved by the Senate the Republicans, who are in control, including many who are close friends with former Senator Sessions, will not approve someone who is clearly going to be no more than a servant of Trump and fire Mueller if that person is so ordered.
Everything possible must be done to see that this investigation is not ended and that Mueller is not fired. If that happens it would be a national catastrophe. We don’t really know exactly what evidence Mueller has but, when this country has had its election process infiltrated by a foreign power, this Congress and the American people must know the facts of what exactly happened; and if some individual in a high position in our government colluded with the perpetrators.
We have to know if this president, who is so close to Russia and its President Putin, was involved in any way. All through this lengthy investigation he has shown no concern whatsoever about Russian hacking and has done nothing to take actions to prevent it from happening ever again.
And if he was somehow involved in this interference in the 2016 election in any then he should follow President Nixon into political oblivion.