President Trump responded to questions from reporters on Monday, calling the recent FBI raid on long-time personal attorney Michael Cohen’s office “an attack on our country in the truest sense, an attack on what we all stand for.”
Supporters have responded in kind, many calling for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and even Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be fired. The President recently voiced his disappointment in General Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russian collusion investigation, saying “I think he made a huge mistake for the sake of the country and frankly, had we known he was going to do that, we would have found someone else for Attorney General.”
Sessions’ recusal made Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein the leading prosecutor in the case, who in turn appointed Mueller. It was largely based on both of their recommendations that the President took the decisive action last year to fire former FBI Director James Comey who Trump has since referred to as a “liar” and “leaker.”
The Deputy AG faced harsh criticism from House Republicans during his testimony late last year. This was in large part due to the fact that some FBI officials had personal communications proving bias against the President, further fueling Trump’s “Witch Hunt” claims. This included private texts between two agents referring to the President as an “idiot” and “awful”, further compromising the integrity of the investigation.
To date, the investigation has turned up little to nothing of its intended purpose, that being the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government. Instead, it has led to campaign finance violations and money laundering charges against former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort. It has been rumored that similar campaign finance charges may be behind the raid on Mr. Cohen’s office. As Andrew McCarthy noted at National Review a couple of weeks ago, if the reported $130,000 payment Cohen made to Stephanie Clifford, better known as porn actress Stormy Daniels, was hush money aimed at keeping her from conducting an October Surprise to affect the 2016 election, it would be a violation of campaign finance law.
Critics of Mueller continue to cite the disconnect between the task force’s intended purpose and their continued activity beyond the scope of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 Presidential election. Many supporters of the President are now saying that Robert Mueller has gone too far, demanding his dismissal and some even calling for protests outside the FBI building in Washington, D.C.
But in a pair of posts at Power Line, Scott Johnson suggests that rather than firing Robert Mueller what Trump might well decide to do is to pardon Cohen, Manafort, Mike Flynn and some of the others whom Mueller has prosecuted, leaving the Special Prosecutor with nothing to do and thus powerless. Johnson doesn’t think Trump’s apparent preferred solution, that being to fire Mueller and Rosenstein, will accomplish the end of eliminating what looks like a runaway investigation far outside the bounds of the Russia-Collusion narrative, and he’s likely right about it.
Either way, the Cohen raid shows that the anti-Trump forces in Washington aren’t going away – and while the grand conspiracy tale of Russian collusion might be breathing its last it might be that the rather tiny Stormy Daniels kerfuffle could end up being a far larger problem for the President.