According to White House officials both on the record and on background, President Donald Trump has no immediate intention of firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. While there is considerable pressure on Trump from his trusted advisers – people like Stephen Bannon and others – his lawyers and his allies in the Republican Party are urging him to let the Russia probe play out unimpeded.
“This is Bannon’s wishful thinking,” one source close to Trump told CNN. “It’s never going to happen. It’s just not going to happen.”
In comments to Politico, Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow said that the president was not considering any form of pushback against Mueller’s office
“I don’t support any kind of retaliatory action,” Sekulow said. “That’s not the position we’re advocating. We’re cooperating with the special counsel.”
That may ultimately turn out to be a mistake of the gravest proportions. Monday’s indictments against Paul Manafort and Richard Gates were for serious financial crimes, indeed, but – unlike what the mainstream media is trying to get us to believe – they had literally nothing to do with the supposed focus of Mueller’s investigation. Nowhere in these charges will you find anything related to the 2016 election, the Russian hacking of the DNC, or anything else that comes within ten miles of being mistaken for “collusion.”
These arrests prove one of two things: One, Mueller is trying to leverage his vast prosecutorial power against Manafort in the hopes that he’ll flip on Trump and help him land a bigger fish. Or two, Mueller has nothing of substance related to collusion, so he’s on a witch hunt to bring down everyone in Trump’s orbit on whatever ancillary crimes he can dig up.
The most that can be said about Trump at this point is that he made a costly political mistake when he hired Manafort to run his campaign last summer. Well, so be it. Trump fired him when reports of his financial connections to pro-Putin interests came out, did he not? What else was he supposed to do? Perhaps he can be accused of not thoroughly vetting his campaign associates in the manner he should have, but let’s not forget: Trump was working against the entire Republican Party on his way to the nomination. He didn’t exactly have his pick of the litter.
Besides, bad judgement isn’t a crime. It certainly isn’t treason.
Lindsey Graham said this week that there would be “holy hell to pay” if Trump were to fire Mueller. Well, it might be worth it. Because the longer the special counsel is allowed to go digging around in Trump’s past – and the pasts of everyone Trump has ever worked with – the more it serves the interests of the Democrats and the Washington establishment. NOT, mind you, the interests of the American people – even those who believe we need to get to the bottom of Russia’s interference in the election. This is a sideshow circus that has grown out of control. For the sake of democracy itself, someone needs to pull the plug.