While speaking to MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Monday morning, Republican strategist and MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler predicted that President Donald Trump will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Tyler also said he believes Republican leadership will do nothing to stop it from happening.
.@rickwtyler: “[Trump] is going to fire Robert Mueller. And you know what’s going to happen? Nothing. That’s what’s going to happen. There will be no response from the Republican leadership.”@MSNBChttps://t.co/urFA8pQ6gu
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) March 19, 2018
“He’s going to fire Mueller eventually, probably sooner rather than later,” Tyler said, “before he can get any further on money laundering or any other tangential issues.”
Tyler made his prediction after Trump issued a series of bizarre and erratic tweets Monday morning, in which the president urged people to turn on Sean Hannity, as well as once again referring to the Russia probe as a “WITCH HUNT” with “massive conflicts of interest!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2018
A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2018
On Sunday, Trump mentioned Mueller by name, taking to Twitter to ask why Mueller’s team has “zero Republicans?” Robert Mueller is a life-long Republican. The man who hired him and is the acting Attorney General for the Russia investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is a life-long Republican (and a Trump appointee, no less).
Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Mueller’s investigation appears to be working its way closer to the president, and Tyler believes that Trump’s pernicious jabs at the Special Counsel are a test to see how Republicans would react, should Trump decide to fire Mueller.
GOP strategist @rickwtyler:
“The president has calculated the reaction from Republicans. He is going to fire Robert Mueller. And you know what’s going to happen? Nothing."https://t.co/TgmTBgGEPj
I agree Trump has received the message that he can get away with it: https://t.co/WFvE2TgGNg
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 19, 2018
Tyler said that the overwhelming lack of pushback by Republicans is a clue.
The president has calculated now … the reaction from the Republicans. He is going to fire Robert Mueller. And you know what’s going to happen? Nothing. There will be no response from Republican leadership from the Congress. The reason to fire McCabe, the reason he had to to deny him his retirement, is [Trump] has to discredit them, has to systematically discredit everybody who is involved in this Russia investigation. And he has now seen that he can do these things without any recourse. … Congress is not going to rein him in.
Rick, you hit a home run, Trump puts things out to test the waters, marketing 101. To see how much and how the people will react. Look at the tweets back to him. Then he pulls the trigger.
— Gapper Ranson (@gapperman1) March 20, 2018
Mueller's been on the case a while now. He's gotten to tangential issues. That evidence won't just disappear. tRump may fire Mueller. The GOP may do nothing. The rest of the country will EXPLODE.
— Vivian Suzanna (@wordsmithviv) March 19, 2018
Mueller’s investigation appears to be shifting from an obstruction of justice case against the president (which Trump’s comments on recently-fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe seem to support) to financial crimes. Last week, the New York Times reported that Mueller had subpoenaed the Trump Organization for all of their documents on to anything and everything related to Russia.
Trump and his lawyers have denied that there has been any talk of firing the Special Counsel, but that hasn’t stopped rumors from buzzing around Washington that the president is scared. Similarly, prior to the firings of former NSA Director Michael Flynn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Steven Bannon, et al, the White House insisted that no one would be losing their jobs.
If Trump fires Mueller and republicans do nothing, the GOP will not only lose control of the House and Senate in November but will not regain control for decades.
So many of us warned that Trump would destroy the GOP but few of us realized that the GOP would be this complicit.
— Susie D (@SusieD57) March 20, 2018
Trump has said any prodding into his finances or business dealings would be a “red line,” although how he would react to it actually happening hasn’t been clear. His latest tweets about Mueller, however, may be an indication. As the status quo rests right now, Trump does not have the legal authority to directly fire the Special Counsel. That power, for now, rests with Rosenstein.
Even if that happens, God forbid, Mueller is heading a criminal investigation. How can that possibly just disappear?
— Betsy Shiller (@BetsyShiller) March 19, 2018
How could Trump fire Mueller? It’s messy. Really messy. But not impossible.
The clearest path would be for Trump to fire and replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions with someone else willing to fire Mueller. Sessions recused himself from the investigation over reports that he was not forthcoming about meetings with Russian officials. Trump could appoint a new AG during a Senate recess. A new acting AG could rescind the “good cause” statute that prevents the firing of Special Counsel without evidence of investigative impropriety. Trump could also fire Rosenstein, should he refuse to fire Mueller, and then continue to work his way down the ranks of the Department of Justice until someone agrees to do the job. As is the case with the AG, Trump could appoint a new DAG during a Senate Recess.