Last week, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he said that he would vote against the proposed bill to protect Mueller but that the special counsel investigation must be allowed to run its course.
Hatch, former chairman and current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote that terminating Mueller, a former FBI director who is highly regarded in Washington “would threaten many of the administration’s accomplishments and make continued progress virtually impossible.”
Trump unleashed a blistering tirade against Mueller following the FBI’s raid on the office, home, hotel room, and “digital information” of his lawyer, Michael Cohen. The raid was sparked partly by a referral from Mueller’s team. But only partly… and the raid on all things Michael Cohen, is not thought to have anything whatsoever to do with the Trump-Russia investigation. There are unsubstantiated reports that precisely because Mueller is held in such high regard, he has become a resource. To put it simply: it is so very easy to find oneself terminated under Trump’s administration that regardless of how transparent the corruption appears with regard to Michael Cohen’s hush-money (with non-disclosure) to Stormy Daniels in order to keep that secret during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, nobody would have wanted to “go it alone” with respect to trying to obtain a search warrant on Cohen. So far, Robert Mueller is the one person that Donald Trump treads lightly with, if only out of sheer self-preservation.
Though it has long appeared that Trump is trying his best to get to Mueller using a basic connect-the-dots pattern of terminating or intimidating underlings in the ostensible hope that they will somehow get rid of Mueller.
A couple of weeks ago, Trump tweeted:
If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
That’s flatly untrue. We all know that Donald Trump’s wildest dream is to fire Mueller. But the fact that he feels the need to take the very un-Trump position of saying he does not want Mueller fired speaks volumes.
It’s good that Hatch and many other elder statesmen of the GOP are repeatedly and publicly warning Trump about the consequences of firing Robert Mueller. It would be better if they really iterated to the American people that there is absolutely no “witch hunt” and that, you know, the Republican Party actually does care about whether an American president may have been elected because he conspired with agents of a hostile foreign nation to stack the deck in his favor.
That would be super impressive.