As former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation looks like it’s gaining on the Cadillac One, rumors resurfaced this weekend that President Trump might fire Mueller. On Saturday, a new surprise–Mueller has thousands of transition team emails! But firing Mueller hasn’t come up, why do you keep asking every goddamn scandal?
Here’s what happened:
- On Friday, Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier told KQED that “rumor on the Hill” on Thursday was that Trump plans to fire Mueller on December 22nd when Congress and the Senate are not in session.
- On Friday, Walter Shaub, the former director of the US Office of Government Ethics who resigned this summer after heavily implying that it was impossible to enforce ethics under the Trump Administration, issued a statement sounding “alarms”: “The coordinated effort by President Trump and his surrogates to discredit the Mueller investigation raises serious alarms. Rather than making themselves complicit in this assault on the rule of law, Members of Congress should send a clear message to the President that firing Mueller is a red line he must not cross.”
- Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted a warning to Republicans that firing Mueller would be a huge mistake:
- No, Eric, Republican Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn tweeted on Saturday, adding that Mueller needs to “clean house of partisans.”
- On Saturday, Axios reported that the FBI special counsel had obtained tens of thousands of emails exchanged amongst the Trump transition team (the link is currently down). Michael Flynn had a transition team account.
- Subsequently Kory Langhofer, the Trump transition team’s legal counsel, wrote in a letter to congressional committees that the emails included privileged information and their submission violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. That is BS, according to former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.
- Axios reports that the transition team will send a separate letter to Mueller asking for the emails back. For what, you might ask, but Axios notes that Republicans may argue that if the emails were obtained “by questionable means” it could “taint or undermine the investigation.”
- On Sunday morning, FBI special council spokesperson Peter Carr told Axios that the emails were obtained legally: “When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process.”
- CNN hears from “sources familiar with the matter” that Trump’s private lawyers will be meeting with Mueller soon to “gain a clearer understanding of the next steps in Mueller’s probe.” Interesting.
- On Saturday, White House special counsel Ty Cobb told CNN in a statement that, no, Trump is not firing Mueller. “As the White House has consistently said for months, there is no consideration of firing the special counsel.”
- On Sunday Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says he has no reason to believe Trump will fire Mueller. They had dinner on Saturday, and it didn’t come up.
- “It’s a giant distraction,” he said, and added that “People want to focus on other things.”
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders says they expect to be wrapping it up soon.
- And then Trump can get back to instigating the Apocalypse on Twitter from bed in a Diet Coke-fueled tantrum.