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Reich writes: "Several major developments in the Trump-Russia investigation over the past 24 hours don't look good for the administration. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating."

Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)

If Mueller's Investigation Gets Too Dangerous for Trump, He Will Fire Him

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page

17 June 17


everal major developments in the Trump-Russia investigation over the past 24 hours don't look good for the administration. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating:

  1. Whether Trump tried to obstruct justice. Mueller will soon interview National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers as to whether Trump pressured them to interfere with the FBI's investigation. (Reminder: Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. It was at the heart of Richard Nixon’s and Bill Clinton’s impeachments.)

  2. Jared Kushner's business ties to Russia. In December, Kushner met with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a Russian state-owned bank and a longtime Putin ally. Kushner later failed to report the meeting on his White House security clearance forms.

  3. Money laundering by Trump associates. Not only are such undisclosed financial transactions illegal, they could point towards a broader arrangement between Trump insiders and Russia. Investigators are looking into a mysterious $3.5 million mortgage former campaign manager Paul Manafort received just after leaving the campaign.

  4. Vice President Mike Pence, who has has hired his own lawyers for the Russia investigation. Trump consulted Pence before he fired FBI Director James Comey, and Pence could soon have to answer questions about obstruction of justice. The decision comes as many inside the White House expect to be subpoenaed by Meuller.

Mueller seems to be doing a thorough investigation. Which means Trump will make a thorough attempt to disparage, demean, and intimidate him. If Mueller's investigation becomes too dangerous for Trump, Trump will try to fire him.

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+21 # DavidtheLiberal 2017-06-17 09:38
If news reports are correct, it appears the consequences for Trump would be dire should he be so foolish as to fire Mueller.

Would a GOP House be sufficiently galvanized to impeach, and a GOP Senate convict?

Your opinion, Mr Reich?
+13 # drew 2017-06-17 10:06
I'm just befuddled at what there is to investigate?? In the full context of asking Comey to 'go easy on Flynn' (after clearing the room), multiple lies about the reason for Comey's firing, Comey not wanting to be left alone with Trump, constantly calling the whole Russia thing 'fake news' publicly, then admitting he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation. Case closed!
+19 # California Neal 2017-06-17 15:40
It's not nearly that simple, Drew. Trump won't resign, at least before Republicans in Congress ask him to--& they won't ask him unless & until GOP voters really turn on him. Similarly, Congressional Republicans are not ready to impeach (majority of House), let alone convict (2/3 of Senate), until the evidence against Trump causes GOP voters to turn on him.

Special Counsel Mueller (or a replacement, if Trump manages to get Mueller fired by a non-recused DOJ boss) needs to interview the witnesses on the obstruction of justice issue, including Trump. He needs to investigate whether Trump campaign & transition officials colluded with the Russians in their interference in our election. He needs to investigate financial entanglements between these Trump associates, including Jared Kushner, & the Russians. Trump's own financial entanglements will probably become an issue.

Then the Special Counsel will write a report. And then we'll see what GOP voters, & Congressional Republicans think.

Might Trump's reckless behavior, & its likely effect on the 2018 & 2020 elections, cause the Republicans to act sooner? So far, they're afraid of angering Trump voters, so they're waiting for them to take the lead.

Finally, VP Mike Pence's role in the decision to fire Comey is likely to require investigation, & the roles of AG Jeff Sessions & Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

So there is A GREAT DEAL to investigate. Due process of law must be respected. Political realities must be recognized.
+9 # Time Traveller 2017-06-18 07:09
I agree Neal, that a lot of investigative work needs to be done to make it an iron clad case, which it would have to be.

And time may work in our favor, since Dump continues to shoot himself in the ass, emptying one revolver and reaching for another in a surreal display of utter insanity.

But if Russians fudged the election and Hillary won the popular vote, who really ARE Trump voters, and how many are here? Oh, I KNOW there are a lot more than there should be... I meet semi intelligent folks all the time that I ask, "Did you REALLY vote for that asshole (or facilitate his election by voting 3rd party)... REALLY???"

Yeah, I have heard every 3rd party voter excuse in the book. But they cluelessly thought we were merely in a water balloon fight, not a war with real bullets.
+7 # lfeuille 2017-06-17 20:11
According to Trumps son, asking him to go easy an order to drop the investigation. When Comey didn't comply, he was fired for that very reason as Trump has actually admitted. I really don't believe you actually have all that much trouble figuring it out. The lies are irrelevant. He obstructed an ongoing investigation.
-1 # Salus Populi 2017-06-18 15:41
So what? The Constitution doesn't specify what "high crimes and misdemeanors" consist of.

That makes it up to the Congress members to define the offense -- which in turn makes impeachment a *political*, not a legal, decision. Clinton was impeached for supposedly lying when he said, "I did not have sex with that woman." He claimed that "sex," as used in the good ol' South, was only copulation, not oral sex.

Bush _père_ pardoned all his Irangate co-conspirators in advance, and violated the law by using the Justice Department to investigate Clinton's decades-earlier trip to Moscow. That certainly rose to the level of an impeachable offense, since it involved an actual crime, but the cowed Democratic-cont rolled Congress chose to let it go unpunished.

Drumpf is the best thing that has happened to the Rethugs in the last 70 years, since his tweetery and idiocy gives the crass tedia an excuse to avoid focusing on Congress as it eviscerates all the progress made as a result of struggles dating back to the Civil war era. Why in the world would they impeach their very own poster boy for distraction and infotainment?

And the Democrats and their supposedly liberal mainscream whoreporate propaganda system are delighted with the situation because, (1) it helps build a consensus for 2018 and 2020, and (2) it provides support for their McCarthyism and neo-lib fantasies about regime change in nuclear-armed Russia.

As for the rank and file Repubs, they are deeply divided.
+22 # gdsharpe 2017-06-17 10:14
"If Mueller's investigation becomes too dangerous for Trump, Trump will try to fire him.

What do you think? "

I think what the investigations will uncover is inevitable. Mr. Trump will make the same mistakes he always has since taking this new job. If he attempts to fire Mueller, it will seal his fate... although it is beginning to look like his fate is sealed already.
+13 # California Neal 2017-06-17 16:02
If Trump tries to fire Mueller, Rod Rosenstein has said he wouldn't do it without good cause. But he will probably have to recuse himself, since he met with Trump (& Sessions), & then wrote the memo about Comey's misdeeds against Hillary last year. These were valid criticisms, but when they were used to justify termination, Rosenstein said he felt used. All of this makes him a witness.

Rachel Brand is next in line. Her background is in GOP politics, not criminal & constitutional law. Even she might balk at firing Mueller unless there's at least a concocted "good cause" to do it.

In the Watergate case, two officials refused Nixon's order & resigned, rather than waiting for Nixon to fire them. Third in line was Robert Bork, who complied, assuring the (successful) Democratic opposition to his later nomination for the Supreme Court.

The more Trump follows in Nixon's path, the worse he will look. The more Republicans become complicit, firing Mueller without a valid good cause & installing a corrupt Special Counsel, the worse the GOP will look.
+18 # Texas Aggie 2017-06-17 10:53
"Drumpf will try to fire him."

Since firing people is about the only thing that drumpf did on a regular basis before becoming president*, it is only reasonable to suppose that firing Mueller will be drumpf's response to anything less than complete adulation.
+26 # mikehz 2017-06-17 11:01
I hope Mueller has the guts and integrity to stick it out and expose Trump's machinations. He's done so many awful (and potentially disastrous) things, and has staffed with the worst collection of Cabinet officials one can imagine, that it seems almost inevitable that he'll fail... and fail badly.
+13 # California Neal 2017-06-17 16:12
Mueller absolutely has the guts & integrity, no doubt about it. That's why he terrifies Trump, who will lash out, & may well seek to have Mueller fired.

It's very revealing that when our intelligence services reached a unanimous conclusion that the Russian government interfered in our election on Trump's behalf, Trump's reaction was to disparage our intelligence services & engage in alt-right "Deep State" conspiracy fake news. Any other American President would have been horrified about the foreign interference in our most basic democratic process, & would have called for measures to insure that such interference never happens again.
-4 # Salus Populi 2017-06-18 16:54
The "unanimous" conclusion was indeed a distortion of the reality, which was that the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA amongst them hand-picked about a dozen pre-approved analysts, who produced the report with *no* input from any of the other 12 agencies -- the normal practice is to circulate such reports as widely as possible to ensure that any mistakes or unwarranted generalizations are caught, and that the opinions of dissenting agencies are taken account of -- and then publicly announced that it was the "unanimous" conclusion of "all" the agencies -- a deliberate lie. So much for the integrity not only of the intelligence agencies, whose entire history consists of one lie after another, but of the whoreporate media, which rather than investigating the matter, simply took the word of the professional liars that their lies were the Gospel truth.
+1 # Salus Populi 2017-06-18 16:34
Guts and integrity? Are we talking about the same Robert Mueller?

The one who, in response to the exposure of a fake bombing plot carried out by a CIA operative in 2012 told Congress that this demonstrated the need for warrantless wiretapping -- which he and Comey had gone to the mat over to stop in 2004?

The bipartisan favorite FBI director who previous to his service presided over the railroading of both Manuel Noriega following his kidnapping and the Libyan government for Lockerbie?

The one who authorized the deletion of databases that frustrated the guidelines that required their inspection? That gave the go-ahead for monitoring and infiltrating nonviolent peace groups for expressing opposition to the security state and the USA PATRIOT Act, which he fulsomely supported?

The FBI director who was in charge when the Bureau carried out "stings" -- that is, entrapments -- of impressionable young Muslims in order to gin up the appropriate hysteria needed to institutionaliz e the panopticon state? Who tore down the wall between law enforcement and counterintellig ence, thus partnering with the terrorist-suppo rting CIA?

No wonder Mueller has the support of both equally corrupt party establishments, as well as the largely neo-con controlled presstitutes.

It is too bad that the progressive community, such as it is, joins the amnesiac populace in forgetting just how objectionable Mueller and his colleagues in destruction of the Bill of Rights really were and are.
+1 # gdsharpe 2017-06-20 13:09
Quoting mikehz:
... and has staffed with the worst collection of Cabinet officials one can imagine, ...

Most likely, all those Cabinet officials were chosen by Pence.
+27 # Pluto 2017-06-17 11:03
He knows he can regain control if he can start a war---or if there is a 9/11 type of event. Then he can declare martial law and have his dreams come true. Watch out for this.

Read "Trump's Brain"--an assessment that was done by the FBI before the inauguration.

Remember, the election was rigged--in Trump's favor. See
+12 # California Neal 2017-06-17 16:15
He wants to start a war with North Korea. It's a good thing that the new South Korean president prefers to seek a diplomatic resolution with North Korea. The American people don't want a war. We'll see where this goes.
+13 # Jaax88 2017-06-17 11:05
Agreed. trump has no intention of "playing"
+10 # California Neal 2017-06-17 16:17
Playing fair would be completely out of character.
-46 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-06-17 11:26
The obstruction of justice that Comey really identified in his testimony was the case of Loretta Lynch, who told Comey to drop the Clinton investigation and he did it. Lynch met secretly with Bill Clinton on the runway of an airport. She called Comey to her office and told him to "back off." The investigation against Clinton was dropped a few days later.

Mueller's investigation so far has been a dry hole. I'm pretty sure he will dig up something. Ken Starr eventually did. It took Starr about 5 years and close to $100 million dollars. And all he found was a cum stain on a dress.

Jared Kushner is a slum lord. But he won't be prosecuted for that.

Democrats like Reich just can't stop wallowing in this fake news. There are a lot of really positive and productive things they could be doing, but this is pay back. Trump will be made to eat crow for beating Hillary. Hillary's warriors will never give up.
+20 # California Neal 2017-06-17 16:44
This isn't a replay of Bill Clinton. It's a replay of Richard Nixon. Comey, a Republican for most of his life, began the investigation & his work terrified Trump, who fired him. Then Rod Rosenstein, a Republican who was appointed by Trump, appointed Mueller, a man with deep bipartisan respect (unlike Ken Starr, a GOP hatchet man, who was investigating a minor sex scandal, not political corruption & obstruction of justice). Mueller is following the evidence where it leads, & Trump is terrified again--as he should be, since he's dirty.

Like Trump, you seek to misdirect attention to HRC & her supporters. But it's Trump & his allies who have dug holes so deep that they forced an investigation by federal law enforcement officials. You can't blame this on anyone besides Trump & his cronies.
+6 # lfeuille 2017-06-17 20:18
I don't know if it terrified him or just annoyed him. One aspect of his various personality disorders is that he just cannot stand any kind of opposition to his will. And he is spiteful when crossed. Legally, it doesn't matter though. He was required to stay out of it and he didn't do it. He thinks he was elected absolute monarch, not president.
-8 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-06-18 07:06
I'm not misdirecting anything. All FBI directors since Hoover have believed that they controlled the president because they had blackmail information on them. Comey released blackmail information on both Hillary and Trump at his testimony. Comey thought he could control both Hillary and Trump. He bit off more than he could chew, and he got fired.

Now Comey has a $10 million book deal, so I guess he will shut up for a while.

Mueller -- a many of deep bipartisan respect. Are you kidding. He is as corrupt as all FBI directors. Mueller is a hatchet man, just like Ken Starr.

These investigations are inherently unfair because they are open ended and the subject of the investigation is powerless to intervene. This is, in fact, what tyranny looks like. The tyranny of the FBI, CIA, and the rest of the Deep State.

I'm no supporter of Trump, but I sure as hell don't want anything to do with the infinitely more evil FBI, CIA, and Deep State. It pains me to see democrats and so-called progressives jump into bed with Mueller, the FBI, CIA, Wapo, and the rest of the apparatus of the Deep State just in order to fulfill Hillary's Vengeance. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." This was not written about Hillary but should have been.

What exact "holes" have Trump and allies dug? No one is saying they hacked DNC/Podesta emails or colluded with Russians to rig the election.

"they forced an investigation" -- what are you smoking?
+4 # Time Traveller 2017-06-18 15:22
Rodion, you are a grand master of Orwellian Doublespeak, so carried away with it that I have seen you contradict yourself in a single post MANY times.

Misdirection is what you DO, and you spend so MUCH time doing it that you are clearly being PAID for it!!!
+1 # ericlipps 2017-06-19 05:04
Rodion, I know you think Bernie Sanders is the legitimate president, but give it up, already.

Reconcile yourself to the reality that Clinton won the nomination legitimately, as even Sanders acknowledges, and that she then lost the election due (at least in part) to a Republican hate campaign fueled by Russian hackers and enthusiasticall y joined by bitter Bernieites such a yourself.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-06-19 15:34
So, Slipperi C / Slick Willie, what exactly do YOU think is gonna happen now? Hey, I voted for your wife, but frankly, only because I knew she was the lesser of two weevils on November 8, not because of her selfless statesmanship.

The DNC stole the Primaries from Bernie, so to think Hill is the legitimate prez is patently absurd!

+19 # Jack Radey 2017-06-17 12:17
He's cooked, and its obvious. If he fires Mueller, and if one of his cronies breaks and starts to roll over on the others, the stampede for the lifeboats by the GOP is going to be very funny to watch. Everyone won't get immunity, some will be fitted for orange jumpsuits. It will take down Trump and Pence, we can only hope Ryan and McConnel go down with them.

It will not come to impeachment. Resignation, late night flight to Bahrain, cerebral hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, suicide, stroke, plane crash, psychotic break, something will happen. Stock up on popcorn, this will be more fun than Watergate.
+2 # California Neal 2017-06-17 16:51
All right! I love it when there's cosmic justice in progress & it produces hilarious entertainment! Stock up on ice cream bars, too.
+9 # LionMousePudding 2017-06-17 13:40
Y'all are nuts.

He's never going to pay. The Republicans will never impeach.

The only result will be as long as the DNC doesn't do something really dumb like run Chelsea, Drumpf will be a one term president. Although that's barely even helpful as he has four years to destroy everything we stand for or value in this country, at least it won't be 8.

Progressives constantly predict the Republicans will implode. When will we all realize their world is a different place than ours? Rules and precedent just don't apply. There is no science and no history. Republicans are Teflon.

I still think it's crucial to fight the fight. But the complacency that comes with repeated Progressive predictions of the Republicans doing themselves in, may result in less action.
+5 # California Neal 2017-06-17 20:01
It is absolutely necessary for Dems to fight the fight. They need attractive candidates for all House seats & open Senate seats in 2018, as well as in state & local government, where they've been creamed in recent years.

All of this will work a whole lot better if the Dems, as a party, & their candidates, embrace progressive policies like much of their 2016 party platform. If they're too controlled by corporate Dems, they'll continue to struggle. Since HRC's campaign allowed the grotesque DJT to beat them, it would be best if she & those closest to her did not play any role of prominence, & did not make public statements that could backfire.

Whether the GOP will implode is an open question, but the longer Trump tries to interfere with the investigation, & the more it produces without GOP pressure on Trump to resign or be impeached, the more they become an endangered species.

This is especially true because Trump & the GOP are still seeking to destroy healthcare for millions of Americans in order to give a big tax break to the rich, & to develop tax "reform" favoring the rich, & doing nothing to benefit the economically disadvantaged voters who caused Trump to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote. It's also true because of the environmental, economic & political damage Trump is doing by withdrawing from the Paris Accord & going backward on Cuba. Both of these moves were opposed by American business interests & most Americans. His base is shrinking.
+5 # DongiC 2017-06-17 14:17
Trump is a fighter and he won't go down peacefully. Maybe a staged attack in the Middle East, maybe some harsh words with Putin over Syria/and or Iran, perhaps a clash of actions with the Democrats. The future may be incredibly dangerous. Imagine, depending upon the republicans for the saffety of America.
0 # lfeuille 2017-06-17 20:20
That's already happening in Syria.
+6 # California Neal 2017-06-17 20:20
Everyone in Washington, & many elsewhere in the country & the world, can see that Trump is far too impulsive & thin-skinned & vicious to be Commander in Chief. The man is temperamentally & intellectually unfit to be POTUS. He is a Malignant Narcissist & perhaps otherwise deficient in mental health & character.

We have to rely on the investigations & their possible consequences, & on taking control of Congress next year & the presidency in 2020. In the meantime, yes, it is extremely dangerous as long as is POTUS, & as long as the Republicans do nothing to control him or contain him or remove him. This is the party that lacked a leader capable of defeating him in the primaries, & still has no leadership speaking to political morality, the legitimate needs of Americans who aren't extremely wealthy, or the dangers of climate denial or saber-rattling.
+1 # librarian1984 2017-06-18 16:40
And yet Pelosi tells Democrats not to call for impeachment. SHE doesn't seem too worried about his fitness to be C in C.

Why isn't SHE worried? Presumably she's met him a few times. Why has she told Dems to stop calling for impeachment?
-3 # librarian1984 2017-06-18 06:42
It's rather sweet that liberals are putting so much faith, not just in Mueller, a Republican and the former head of an intelligence agency, but in ALL the opinions of ex-intel heads, like Clapper and Brennan. Are people growing MORE naive as they get older?

To listen to liberals defend the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, DNI, etc etc ....

It's an age of wonders, truly.
0 # Jim Rocket 2017-06-20 09:14
I have a theory that over the last 20 years or so the decent people in the intelligence agencies (yes, there are/were several) were pushed out or resigned on principle(!). Who's left is what we're seeing now. I will be pleasantly surprised if Mueller gets anywhere with his investigation. Don't forget that the Republicans have learned from Watergate, Iran- contra and the Savings and Loan Fiasco. Fewer and fewer of them went to jail with each scandal until virtually no one went to jail from the Great Financial meltdown. They've pretty much neutered the justice system as it applies to them.

Salus Populi is correct when he says it's Christmas every day for the Republicans. Things won't change until base lose faith in Trump. Until then it's a looting party.

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