After a weekend of speculation, it was announced that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his business partner have been indicted on a range of charges. Perhaps the even bigger risk for Team Trump, however, is the largely overshadowed guilty plea from George Papadopoulos. On the same day as the indictment news, it came out that Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on Trump’s campaign, has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with Russia.
Trump’s response so far has largely consisted of Tweets meant to distract from what is potentially one of the greatest scandals in presidential history. However, there are a troubling number of indications that Trump may spark a constitutional crisis by acting to remove special counsel Robert Mueller. (While Trump can’t directly fire Mueller, he has at least two paths to remove him or stop the investigation.)
Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s many lawyers legal, maintains there are “no discussions and there is no consideration” of sacking Mueller. However, Trump’s close friend Chris Ruddy stated all the way back in June that Trump had considered it.
Harvard lecturer Yascha Mounk, summed up the situation this way:
What’s strange about this is that we should, at this point, know what comes next. We have, after all, seen more or less the same pattern play out over and over since Trump took office. The White House intimates that it might destroy a key democratic norm that had once seemed unassailable. Pundits on TV confidently opine that Trump would never do something quite as crazy as this. Political scientists predict that he could never get away with crossing such a bright red line in such a brazen manner.
But, inevitably, Trump does do the crazy thing.
However, a firing isn’t the only thing those concerned about Trump’s overreach should be wary of. Since the indictments, at least twenty sources close to Trump have spoken to reporters about the situation. Steve Bannon is said to be advocating a congressional strategy to limit or remove Mueller. Roger Stone is advocating a separate investigation into the Uranium One conspiracy theory, with Mueller as the subject.
Especially in light of the firing of James Comey from the FBI, any steps taken by Trump or his surrogates to impede the Russia should be considered a bright red line.
You can take action to protect the Mueller investigation. Simply call your representatives in Congress at (202) 224-3121. Tell the staffer that answers the phone, “We deserve answers about Russian interference in our elections. Your office should protect Robert Mueller’s investigation supporting the Special Counsel Integrity Act and the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act.”