According to recent reports, President Trump tried to fire Special Investigator Mueller seven months ago and then repeatedly lied to the press, claiming that he had never thought about–much less tried–firing Mueller. His lawyer, as well as spokesperson Kellyanne Conway, also subsequently lied to the media when asked if such an effort ever took place.
Many pundits this weekend were profoundly disturbed by this news and foresaw a constitutional crisis because this reporting bolstered the case for obstruction of justice against Trump. Obstruction requires an intent to subvert the judicial process, and the effort to fire Mueller can’t be seen as anything but further proof of an effort to subvert.
Mueller’s noose around Trump is tightening, and as each day goes by it looks increasingly clear that the obstruction case against him is quite strong–not to mention any further dirt Mueller might have on Trump, like money laundering or conspiring with a hostile foreign power. No wonder Trump backers in the GOP have become hysterical in their desire to smear Mueller and his overseer, Assistant Attorney General Rosenstein.
If Mueller has a case against Trump (and Trump is acting exactly like a guilty man being pursued by the law) then Congress is ultimately responsible for the consequences Trump will face. And thus far, Republicans in Congress seem comfortable flushing any last shred of their patriotism and honor to protect an unfit, incompetent, corrupt and possibly criminal president. We can’t accept their comfort.
If Trump tries to fire Mueller or Rosenstein, or does anything else to compromise the investigation against him, or is ultimately indicted, it will require from us a historically unprecedented response. This is not hyperbole–it is reality. We will need to force the GOP to understand that putting party over country will not be tolerated, nor will thwarting justice, nor will a criminal presidency. Maybe it takes a work stoppage. Or maybe it takes ten-million screaming people surrounding the White House. It will surely take controlled rage. Whatever it takes, we must drop what we’re doing and participate. If we don’t, we risk the end of democracy as we’ve known it.