Monday, March 19, 2018

A Handful of Republicans Warn Trump on Mueller Attacks

As special counsel Robert Mueller appears to be gathering more and more evidence against Donald Trump and his corrupt circle of enablers and sycophants, Trump's hysteria over Mueller is intensifying.  One can only assume that Trump knows all too well the crimes and filth that Mueller will find if allowed to continue his investigation.  Thus, the more shrill and strident Trump becomes, the louder the message that Mueller is close to hitting paydirt.   Even the always despicable Trey Gowdy  admonished Trump that if he's innocent, he needs to act like it:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) urged President Donald Trump and his lawyer on Sunday to stop flailing at special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and to let the probe continue unimpeded.  "When you are innocent … act like it," Gowdy said on “Fox News Sunday"
A few other non-Vichy style Republicans - even Lindsey Graham, the Palmetto Queen found his voice and urged a hearing be held on the McCabe firing - are speaking up and warning Trump to keep his hands off the Mueller investigation.  Of course, there is not evidence that they would in fact take decisive action should Trump engineer the firing of Mueller.  A piece in Politico looks at the situation.  Here are excerpts:
Congressional Republicans sounded alarm Sunday over President Donald Trump’s increasing belligerence toward special counsel Robert Mueller, but they offered no hint about what actions they might take if Trump attempts to fire him.
“I’m not sure the House can do a lot,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on “Fox News Sunday.” Gowdy urged the president to give Mueller the space and resources to finish his probe unimpeded, but he noted that the Senate has more leverage over Trump on this issue because it has a say in his senior administration appointments.
Though he’s attacked senior leaders of the FBI and Justice Department for drawing out a “witch hunt” against him, Trump has kept his criticism of Mueller’s probe to a minimum, adopting a legal strategy that a public posture of cooperation with Mueller is the right course.
But that strategy shifted abruptly in the past few days, following news that Mueller had subpoenaed the Trump organization for records. This weekend, Trump has tweeted that Mueller’s investigation is unnecessary and is being run by “hardened Democrats.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said any decision by Trump to remove Mueller “would be the beginning of the end of his presidency.”
Mueller is “following the evidence where it takes him, and I think it’s very important he be allowed to do his job without interference,” Graham said. “And there are many Republicans who share my view.”
But bipartisan legislation intended to block a unilateral move by Trump to remove Mueller has stalled in Congress for months, as Republicans and Democrats have worked to combine competing proposals, and even the sponsors of the legislation have described limited urgency to act. Until this weekend, they pointed to Trump’s deference to Mueller and expressed confidence he wouldn’t go after the veteran prosecutor.
A decision by Trump to fire Mueller could be complex. Technically, the decision falls to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's probe and has repeatedly expressed confidence in Mueller. Only Rosenstein has the authority to end it, but Trump has the authority to remove Rosenstein in order to install a more pliant official willing to carry out the order, a move that Trump's detractors fear could come without warning.
Yet if the new tone toward Mueller is going to motivate Republican lawmakers to protect the investigation, there were few indications over the weekend. Leaders of the committees charged with overseeing the Justice Department offered no immediate response to Trump’s comments.
[R]ather than endorse a specific response, several Republican lawmakers with a history of challenging Trump on Russia-related matters fanned out across the Sunday national news shows and pleaded broadly with Trump to back off Mueller.
Only time will tell whether today's Republican Party still stands for American democracy and the rule of law or if, instead, it has become the party of traitors and treason.

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