If Mueller Is Fired, Is that the Beginning of the End for Trump?
I’m going to say something here, and if I know our commenters, a good 70 percent of them will take a very cynical view of Republicans and continue to suggest that they’re spineless goons who talk but never actually stand up to the President.
So far, that’s largely been true. But, they did vote overwhelmingly to apply new sanctions on Russia — against the wishes of the White House — and they are clearly getting fed up with the shenanigans of the White House. I do think they’re on the verge of actually standing up to the President. I think that McCain’s speech was helpful in that regard (even if he ignored his own advice and voted Yes on one form of the health care bill before voting no on a straight repeal). I was weirdly heartened by the hot mic exchange between Susan Collins and Jack Reed, as well, not necessarily because of what was being said, but because it shows that Democrats and at least some Republicans are united in one regard: They think the President is crazy. They are concerned about his complete ignorance. They know he’s incapable of legislating. I think they’re tired of answering questions about Trump’s tweets, and I think they’re exhausted with the daily chaos in the White House.
With that as a backdrop, this is encouraging:
Lindsay Graham: "Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency." pic.twitter.com/CZGyL8i3D5— Axios (@axios) July 27, 2017
“If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency,” Graham says. Meanwhile, Chuck Grassley will not allow any confirmation hearings on a new Attorney General in 2017, so if Trump fires Sessions, he’s stuck with Rod Rosenstein, which puts him in no better position than he is now in the Attorney General’s office, plus he’d have to deal with the political fall-out of the firing. Fox News might just side with their racist elf here, too. Look at Fox News now: They’re not focused on Hillary for the moment; they’re focusing on the infighting in the White House:
Sessions will be talking to Fox News later today about his difficulties with the President, but in the meantime, while the GOP Senate clearly isn’t looking out for the country when it comes to health care, they do seem to be looking out for themselves. And in recent days, the White House has attacked Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Dean Heller, and Rand Paul, in one form or another. Richard Burr won’t be seen with Trump anymore. Trump basically called out Shelley Capito at the Boy Scout Jamboree, and he’s going to support anyone who runs against Jeff Flake in Arizona. Essentially the same thing happens anytime a Republican steps out of line: Trump attacks that Republican. And now, in Sessions, Trump continues to attack and humiliate one of their own.
An impeachment trial would require 18 Republican Senators to turn on Trump. We’re getting there, if we assume that firing Mueller would flip Graham, McCain, Collins, Murkowksi, Flake, Heller, Burr, Grassley, Ben Sasse (a long-time Trump critic), and Capito, plus others who have publicly called out the President for his treatment of Sessions (Tom Cotton, Orrin Hatch, Tom Tillis, Rubio, John Barrasso, and Richard Shelby).
That’s 16 Republican Senators whom the President has either thrown under the bus, or who have publicly expressed support for Jeff Sessions. And we’re only six months in.
Maybe they’re all talk. But the longer this drags on, and the more Trump’s popularity drops, the more he hurts other GOP Senators and the less they’re going to cover for him. So, despite the cynicism that I know is about to come from our commenters, I do think that if Mueller is fired (especially if it comes only after Sessions is fired), then it will be the beginning of the end for Trump. The number of Trump critics in the Senate are slowly piling up.