Leaders of the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus just introduced a bill to start the process for President Trump to fire Robert Mueller.
On Wednesday. Reps. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — who is currently being investigated over his knowledge of sexual abuse of athletes when he was an Ohio State University wrestling coach — filed a bill starting impeachment proceedings for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
However, the bill, as CNN noted, is not likely to pass, as Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) — the chairmen of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees, respectively –have not yet cosponsored the legislation as of this writing. But the bill marks the first step to make it possible for Trump to fire Mueller, as he has reportedly tried to do on multiple occasions, even as early as one month after Rosenstein appointed him.
In order for Mueller to be fired, Rosenstein has to be the one to do it, since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from matters involving the Russia investigation (a move Trump has heavily criticized). Since Rosenstein has indicated he has faith that Mueller will conduct a fair investigation, it isn’t likely Rosenstein will fire him. This means that he has to be impeached and someone else in the Department of Justice has to take his place — presumably, someone willing to fire Mueller.
This could potentially lead to a situation similar to the Saturday Night Massacre, in which former President Richard Nixon forced both Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to resign in order to end Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox’s investigation of the Watergate scandal (Nixon eventually resigned in disgrace).
Most notably, the bill Reps. Jordan and Meadows filed comes just a day after CNN obtained and published recordings of then-candidate Trump and former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen discussing hush money payments to women accusing Trump of sexual impropriety. As Trump’s longtime lawyer and the former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, it’s assumed that if Cohen makes a plea deal with prosecutors, he could potentially hand over damaging information on Trump, and possibly other Republicans as well.
Rosenstein has apparently told colleagues in the Department of Justice that he is prepared to be fired.
Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.