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Donald Trump “Ranting And Raving”

June 16, 2017

One of those great reads from The New Yorker.

The attacks on Mueller could be preparing the ground for Trump to fire him. But the White House is well aware that such an incendiary move would create a constitutional crisis that would probably end with Congress insisting on the appointment of another independent prosecutor. (That’s what happened in 1973, after Richard Nixon forced the Justice Department to fire Archibald Cox. Within two weeks, Leon Jaworski replaced Cox.) The Administration, therefore, might be playing a longer game. Few people in Washington think that Mueller will end up bringing charges against the President. The conventional wisdom is that, if he concludes that an obstruction case is justified, he will hand the matter over to Congress, which would then have to decide whether to impeach the President.

If that happens, the survival of Trump’s White House would depend on its ability to keep Capitol Hill Republicans in line. And one way to accomplish this is to exert pressure on them via Trump’s base. In an interview with Bloomberg View, Bob Inglis, a former G.O.P. congressman from South Carolina, explained that, even with the President’s approval rating in the thirties, his diehard supporters “can kill you in a Republican primary, which is why elected Republicans are terrified of those voters.” Trump must know that he is unlikely to convince most of the country that Mueller has an axe to grind. But it may still make sense for him to rile up viewers of Fox News, readers of Breitbart, and his own Twitter followers.

Yet there is a second way to read these attacks on Mueller. It is possible that Trump, having seen his decision to fire Comey boomerang on him in spectacular fashion, is simply ranting and raving.

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