January 28, 2018

Trump's executive power and the political cost of trying to fire Mueller.

On "Meet the Press" this morning, Chuck Todd asked Senator Joe Manchin (Democrat of West Virginia) whether he was concerned about the report that Trump ordered the firing of Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Manchin said:
Chuck, here's the thing, you have a person who's the president of the United States that has been totally in control of his life, personally and his professional. He's been very successful. He's been able basically to either do things incentive-wise through checks, bonuses, money or organization or organization changes, things of this sort. He's had total control. Now all of a sudden he's understanding there's equal branches and there's equal powers. But also there's checks and balances. He's having a hard time with that. Hopefully I think that'll all come. But right now what you hear saying and what he's going to do. Let's see if he moves on [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein.... I think at that time there'll be Democrats and Republicans saying, "Time to protect the judicial system and the three branches of government having equal power." Absolutely.
Does Manchin think the Special Counsel is part of the judicial branch?

Later in the show, Todd talked to former C.I.A. director Robert Gates and asked him, "Do you think Congress should do whatever it took to protect [Mueller] if somehow the president decided to fire him?" Gates, making a lot more sense than Manchin, said:
Well, this is tough, because it is an executive branch appointment. And I don't know how you, how you, how the Congress extends an umbrella of protection legally through legislation over what is an executive branch nomination or appointment. I would say this. I think that the one thing that can be done is to try and figure out how to make it clear the magnitude of the political cost that would be incurred, should he be fired.
It is the power of the executive branch that is at issue, though Gates doesn't attempt to explain why. Instead he, wisely, shifts the focus to "the political cost" to the President if he were to try to fire Mueller. I think they're talking about unconstitutional limitations on the President's power to remove an executive branch official, so the President's opponents (and supporters) ought to keep the political pressure on the President to endure the investigation and let us see the outcome.

But if Manchin and others want to keep accusing Trump of threatening the constitutional balance of power among the 3 branches of government, the President's constitutional authority should be defended with something more than the kind of subtle nudge we heard from Gates. And yet, it's probably not in the President's interest to lecture us legalistically about the extent of his constitutional power here because it would have a political cost.

151 comments:

mockturtle said...

He presumably meant the justice system. ???

anti-de Sitter space said...

www.newsweek.com/why-trump-cant-legally-fire-mueller-chapter-and-verse-625008

Ann Althouse said...

"He presumably meant the justice system. ???"

What's your point? The judiciary is the third branch of the federal government. How is protecting Mueller about protecting the power of the judicial system? A prosecutor is the executive power.

Ann Althouse said...

@anti-de Sitter space

Did you read that? It's not about how the power is not in the executive branch, but that the Rod Rosenstein (who's in the executive branch) would exercise the power.

"So the decision would be Rod Rosenstein’s to make. And Rosenstein is not going to remove Mueller, if only because that same DOJ regulation permits such removal of a Special Counsel appointed from outside the Department of Justice (as Mueller was) only “for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.”"

That's why Manchin was talking about Trump going after Rosenstein.

Humperdink said...

Recall the political cost of Eric Holder being held in contempt (twice) by the congress. That would be ah ....... nothing.

Don't like Trump canning Robert "The Whitewasher" Mueller? Change the constitution.

YoungHegelian said...

that has been totally in control of his life, personally and his professional.

What is Manchin smoking? While Trump, who owns & ran a privately-held firm, may not have to please stockholders, he has to please investors, employees (& their unions), & most of all, his customers. To none of these groups can he say "Fuck you! I'm doing it my way" without great cost.

Does Manchin think that when Trump went into a negotiation with sellers or vendors of any kind, that he was "totally in control"? No. They wanted theirs, he wanted his, & they had to bang out an agreement that both sides could live with.

I agree that high-end real estate is a different world than day to day federal politics, but it's just a completely different "industry", not a question of "control".

anti-de Sitter space said...

Althouse,

I did read it.

Your post refers to DJT doing this: "And yet, it's probably not in the President's interest to lecture us legalistically about the extent of his constitutional power here because it would have a political cost."

He can't.

Legally.

FTR, I agree that the folks on the tube were really off the mark. But, that doesn't mean that DJT can fire Mueller.

He can't.


mockturtle said...

What's your point? The judiciary is the third branch of the federal government. How is protecting Mueller about protecting the power of the judicial system? A prosecutor is the executive power.

That IS my point. He may have meant the DoJ, not judicial.

Leland said...

The flip side of this is Mueller's grand jury against the President is the House of Representatives. At this point, I don't see Mueller getting an indictment. I'm sure some Dems will try to pretend the judiciary has that role, but the Constitution seems pretty clear.

Leland said...

The DOJ is neither a system nor a branch of government.

John Tuffnell said...

I think it's arrogant of Herr Mueller to assume that whatever he decides will be accepted.

Outside the beltway.

Ann Althouse said...

"He can't."

He can't what? You're not paying attention to the subject that would be lectured about, which is proposed new legislation, supposedly restoring the balance of power, but the power has already been skewed against the President. Additional skewing would be subject to a strong argument for executive power.

mockturtle said...

The DoJ is part of the Executive Branch.

Hari said...

Trump has said that he would speak with Mueller under oath and that he was looking forward to doing so. To fire Mueller before the meeting would make Trump seem unnecessarily afraid of Mueller.

Big Mike said...

As more and more information comes out about the DoJ and FBI collusion with the Clinton campaign, the more it appears to me that Rosenstein and Mueller absolutely have a conflict of interest, which should rightly result in the removal of both men from their positions. They are participating in the coverup of a crime against the population of the United States.

Tom said...

Trump can easily address this. All he has to say to Mueller is this. “I fired Comey because I didn’t find him trustworthy and everything he’s done being fired reinforces this feeling. Now, to fire him, the lawyers cited some of the specific reasons I had for not trusting him - the way lawyers do. But I can’t have the head of the FBI as someone I don’t trust. And it is totally within my constitutional powers to fire him for any reason - but my reason is that I found him to be shady and not trustworthy. This town is full of untrustworthy and that’s a big reason why I got elected - to drain this swamp. I’ll probably not get to fire every untrustworthy person - every person who’s acting who has a senior level government job and unworthy of it. But when it’s the FBI director - we just can’t have that and have integrity in the justice system.”

Did you threaten to fire me?

“Have I told you I want to fire you?”

No.

“Then no, I didn’t threaten to fire you. I do believe you have a conflict of interest because Comey is a good friend who I fired and who then illegally leaked classified information to get you appointed. And, I find that disturbing. My lawyers tell me you’re a pro and above that petty stuff. I don’t know - we’ll see. But I’m taking their advice and I’m hoping that’s in the best interest of the country - a country that’s finally doing great, by the way. Don’t forget that - the country is finally turning around.”

Trump has the constitutional authority to do what he did and the constitution doesn’t require him to have a reason. But Trump’s reason can easily be deeper than the official reason Comey was fired - he simply felt Comey was untrustworthy and what’s on paper are two sordid reasons for that feeling. How can anyone determine he felt differently? As for what he discusss with his lawyers present, that’s between him and his lawyers.

Mark said...

it is an executive branch appointment. . . . what is an executive branch nomination or appointment

No it isn't. Mueller's employment is neither of these things. He wasn't appointed. He wasn't nominated. He was hired -- and there is a huge difference.

The PRESIDENT -- and only the president -- has the power of appointment. The president also has the power of nomination. Mueller wasn't nominated for squat. He was never considered by, much less confirmed, by the Senate.

Supreme Court justices and lower court judges and DOJ executive officers and U.S. Attorneys all require Senate confirmation. And yet folks are treating Mueller -- who was never confirmed -- as if he is higher than all of these.

The fact is that Mueller is simply a hired employee. He's not a branch of government unto himself. He's not supreme to the president, who is the embodiment of the whole of the executive branch. He's not supreme to Congress, such that he can ignore congressional demands for documents or otherwise say that his "investigation" takes precedence. He's not supreme to the judiciary.

What's more, as a hired employee, he's gone FAR beyond the bounds of his job description into areas that are beyond his jurisdiction and competency.

tcrosse said...

As a reminder, P.J. O'Rourke observed that the three co-equal branches of the Federal Government are Money, Television, and Bullshit.

Amadeus 48 said...

Trump could fire Mueller, but should he?

The joker in the deck is the state the Hillarygate/DOJgate/FBIgate/FISAgate/Uranium Onegate/emailgate/Russiagate/McCabeStrzokLisaPageComeygate scrum at the time this comes to a head. If Comey and the FBI are so blown up by the House and Senate investigations and the OIG report by the time this rolls around, Trump may say that the whole thing is rotten from top to bottom, and he's glad no collusion was found. He'll then send Mueller packing, with hearty thanks. If Comey isn't totally blown up, it becomes trickier.

If I were advising Trump, I'd tell him not to accept an interview from Mueller since there is no evidence of any Russian involvement by him. As to "obstruction", I'd stand on my power as the chief executive to discharge any subordinate, including Comey. I'd provide Mueller with a legal summary of my position on the powers of the Executive to replace subordinates. I'd note that the investigation has continued along apace, that a competent replacement for Comey was immediately nominated and confirmed with no adverse impact on the investigation, and that he, Trump, is not subject to review by his subordinate, Mueller. I'd throw a few rocks at Comey for his illegal leaking of his confidential memos and include a ringing endorsement of the idea that no man, including James Comey, is above the law.

What is Mueller's recourse? Only the court of public opinion. Trump knows how to play that game.

David Begley said...

This “fire Mueller” thing is almost as ridiculous as the Russian collusion thing.

Trump did nothing. This is all speculation.

If Trump is as bad as the Dems say he is then they should sweep the 2018 elections. Then impeach him. Or defeat him in 2020. Otherwise, shut up.

Nice fair balanced panel Chuck had. One Never Trumper and the others were Lefty Loons. That woman from Demos is nuts.

Mark said...

You know folks -- none of this is new. It was a major point of discussion several months ago at the time Mueller was hired. There was plenty of talk about whether Trump could or should terminate his employment. And nearly everyone agreed that a president did have that constitutional power and to exercise it would not be a violation of the law.

Darrell said...

Watch this in its entirety--31 minutes. It will answer all your questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa95jLxZfc4

Mueller and Comey will be lucky if they are not in prison by the end of the year. Or next.

anti-de Sitter space said...

I took the original post to claim that the constitution allowed DJT to do an "Apprentice" style 'you're fired' to Mueller.

I'm only noting that DJT can't do that to Mueller.

I don't have a formed POV on the wisdom of adding even more obstacles re a POTUS's influence re a Special Council. I have seen jabber about these proposals. But, I haven't read anything detailed re the nuts and bolts re how they're supposed to work. I've assumed the Rs (incl DJT) will never this become law, so why waste my time.

I dunno.


cubanbob said...

FTR, I agree that the folks on the tube were really off the mark. But, that doesn't mean that DJT can fire Mueller.

He can't."

Mueller is a special prosecutor and not an independent counsel. Trump can fire him at any time of his choosing. Whether or not that would be wise of Trump is another matter but yes he can fire Mueller and his staff at anytime of his choosing.

Ann Althouse said...

"The DoJ is part of the Executive Branch."

And what is your point? I take it that you disagree with me about something, but I don't see what? Manchin was going off on Trump for endangering the tripartite constitutional system:

He stresses that there are "equal branches and there's equal powers" and "checks and balances" that Trump doesn't understand or want to have to deal with. He says Congress might have to pass legislation to "protect the judicial system and the three branches of government having equal power."

What is Manchin talking about there? The branch of government in question is the executive branch, as you are acknowledging, but I don't know if Manchin is. Manchin is not speaking coherently about law.

David Begley said...

“HEATHER McGHEE:

I think we do to a certain extent know why though. This is somebody who has been obsessed since day one of this idea that he maybe didn't actually beat Hillary Clinton. That you know, every single--anything that contributes to perception that he did not win the election, that he did not win it in electoral college landslide. I mean, how many times have we heard that from this president? And every day that's what this investigation represents.”

Dear Heather: Trump won. It wasn’t a landslide, but he won. Hillary lost. Move on.

This woman is incoherent.

Mark said...

I'd provide Mueller with a legal summary of my position

Not to jump on you, but doing so, providing Mueller with anything like that, would serve only to legitimize Mueller and say that you accept his authority.

But Mueller HAS NO SUCH LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY. There was NO underlying crime. There has been no probable cause of wrongdoing, no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.

Mueller has no more authority to put questions to the president than some cop has to stop you on the sidewalk, when you're minding your own business, and demand that you answer his questions. But at least the cop is a legitimate officer of the law.

Francisco D said...

It's hard to say that the three branches are equal. They have different responsibilities.

When a legislator talks about restoring the equality of the three branches, I suspect he is looking to gain more power for the legislative and take away power from the executive. It doesn't matter if he is confusing the branches. It is a power grab.

The DNC/MSM strongly supports taking away power from the executive branch ...

... when a Republican is POTUS. Otherwise not so much.

Mark said...

Anything that Trump might want to say to Mueller -- whether in answer to questions that Mueller might want to ask or otherwise -- Trump can simply say in a public statement to everyone outside any meeting with Mueller.

mockturtle said...

And what is your point? I take it that you disagree with me about something, but I don't see what? Manchin was going off on Trump for endangering the tripartite constitutional system

Not disagreeing with you about anything. I was merely offering up a possible reason for his misstatement.

John Tuffnell said...

Althouse correctly identifies Manchin as not knowing his ass from an acorn. That's the tree.

But his point is that Todd and his ilk need to Trump some slack. That's the forest.

Big Mike said...

Legally, Trump can fire Mueller, or order Mueller be fired.

Politically, there will be a cost.

Trump may be ready for the political fight.

Let me reiterate, as more and more information dribbles out about the DoJ under Obama, Holder, and Lynch, and the FBI under Mueller and Comey, conspiring to collude with the Clinton campaign, the more it appears that Rosenstein and Mueller not just can be fired, but ought to be fired -- and put on trial while we're at it.

Amadeus 48 said...

Furthermore, Trump can veto any legislation and move it to a veto-override vote. If the country is on the right track economically, are members of the House and Senate going to vote in super-majorities to upset the apple cart to vindicate those two prigs, Bob Mueller and James Comey?

Comey may be fighting his own indictment at that time.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not disagreeing with you about anything. I was merely offering up a possible reason for his misstatement."

Okay. Thanks.

I really cannot understand what he was trying to say other than to create hot air over the idea of "separation of powers" and "checks and balances." It seems to me that these are subjects where the President has very strong arguments, and he (a member of Congress) is acting righteous about restoring balance when he is in fact talking about congressional intrusion on the President's power.

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW,

Frum, w/ facts and historical references, tries to make the point that, going forward, the Executive may need more legal restraints because a POTUS's fidelity to America can't be assumed, anymore:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/books/review-trumpocracy-david-frum-how-democracies-die-steven-levitsky-daniel-ziblatt.html


Carry on.


Mark said...

The DNC/MSM strongly supports taking away power from the executive branch

Not really. The non-elected administrative state has essentially usurped the legislative power of the legislative branch through its leviathan -- and largely unconstitutional -- system of rules and regulations.

And the Dems, left, MSM like that just fine. That's where the real power is -- in the deep state.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Funny how everyone was concerned about Trump doing rash things. He is understandably unhappy with the Mueller witch hunt and discusses with his staff whether he has the executive power to fire Mueller Though the answer is "yes" his staff doesn't think it's a good idea. He decides, based on that advice, to hold fire. What a madman!

I do tend to think that Trump should tell Mueller to take a hike as far as an "interview" is concerned. If Mueller can't come up with the evidence he needs there is no reason for Trump to expose himself.

Amadeus 48 said...

Mark--I take your point. Trump's legal position on the authority of the chief executive is part of the political battle and doesn't need to be addressed to Mueller.

Mark said...

adSs throws down the gauntlet, saying, "It's on."

Mark said...

What Trump should do is say in response to any Mueller inquiry, "Bite me." And then give any answer in a public statement -- or tweet.

Big Mike said...

Today Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) linked to something very appropriate for the times we are going through: Guns Are How A Civil War Ends... Politics Is How It Starts. I don't see how anyone can read a good volume of Civil War history without accepting that the proximate cause was the South deciding that they would not abide with the election of Abraham Lincoln, coupled with their naive belief that the other side would not fight. I think Democrats are way too blase about the impact of removing Trump from office other than by his losing in 2020, or by his term ending with the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States in January 2025, or by committing a real crime, by which I mean not merely pissing off Democrat politicians and bigwigs in the press.

Achilles said...

Daniel Greenfield explains exactly what is happening.

Obama fired Inspector Generals.

Obama stiff armed numerous congressional investigations.

When Obama was president the DOJ was clearly executive branch and Obama could do whatever he wanted with it.

Now Trump is President.

Trump can't fire anyone.

Trump has to accept the judgments of the civil servants.

Everything Trump does, though constitutional, is not ok.

"Political Costs"

It is all an excuse for the leftist to do whatever they want despite the outcome of elections.

They are not going to like who comes after Trump.

Mark said...

Actually, Trump should tell Mueller in any meeting they have, "I'm not here to answer your questions. You are here to answer mine."

Humperdink said...

We clearly need to amend the constitution to create a fourth, co-equal branch of government. We could called it: The Office of Presidential Harassment. The Special Harasser would be appointed by opposition party to the president. This would get it out from under the DoJ.

It would have sweeping powers of non-probable cause, willy-nilly subpoena powers, granting immunity, and deleting/erasing/losing exculpatory evidence. It's investigative powers would not be limited to the President. It would encompass the president's family, donors, business associates, friends, acquaintances, hangers-on, and groupies since birth.

It would also have the power to wiretap, surveille, or spy on the president based upon real or imagined evidence.

If indicted, a hearing would held in front of all living presidents of the opposition party. If convicted, the defeated candidate in the previous election would assume the Presidency.

Achilles said...

anti-de Sitter space said...
BTW,

Frum, w/ facts and historical references, tries to make the point that, going forward, the Executive may need more legal restraints because a POTUS's fidelity to America can't be assumed, anymore:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/books/review-trumpocracy-david-frum-how-democracies-die-steven-levitsky-daniel-ziblatt.html


After 8 years of Obama you have to be really, really stupid to post this. Or evil.

There is a different constitution for Democrat Presidents according to the left.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I agree with Big Mike: Mueller and Rosenstein should be fired. They both seem to be complicit in the misdeeds of the DOJ and FBI. On the other hand I am not sure it's worth the blood shed yet. The news of DOJ and FBI malfeasance is only going to get worse. Comey should certainly be indicted and Rosenstein should probably be forced to resign -or worse. Where is the DOJIG rerport that was due out a couple of weeks ago?

John Tuffnell said...

Frum, w/ facts and historical references, tries to make the point that, going forward, the Executive may need more legal restraints because a POTUS's fidelity to America can't be assumed, anymore

Nobody outside the fever swamps believes that Trump lacks fidelity to the country. The same things were said about Obama who was far more internationalist, splitting his fidelity between national and international goals. Who needs the legal restraints?

traditionalguy said...

The best commentary on special Inquisition by Torquemada Mueller to Remove a sitting President, is a pic of Hillary and Mueller laughing it uptogether captioned, " First I (Hillary) paid $12,000,000 for the fake dossier and now I (Mueller) get Congress to pay me $12,000,000 to pretend to investigate it."

Achilles said...

Mark said...
Actually, Trump should tell Mueller in any meeting they have, "I'm not here to answer your questions. You are here to answer mine."

Trump: Mr. Mueller, did you communicate with Comey, Rosenstein, and McCabe before your appointment to the special counsel about ways to get yourself appointed special counsel to investigate Russian "collusion."

Mueller: My attorney has directed me to invoke my 5th amendment right to be silent in order to not incriminate myself.

Mark said...

Yep.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@Mark: I have been having the same thoughts. What a great opportunity to find out Mueller and his staff have been up to. Can you see the the look on Mueller's face when the boss tells him to spill the beans?

cubanbob said...

anti-de Sitter space said...
BTW,

Frum, w/ facts and historical references, tries to make the point that, going forward, the Executive may need more legal restraints because a POTUS's fidelity to America can't be assumed, anymore:"

You make a great case for naming an independent counsel to investigate the Clinton's, Barack Obama and his Administration.

Unknown said...

The Left is going to continue the attacks in the hopes that he can be forced out or at least neutralized. I mean, look at how they are attacking him for allegedly considering firing Mueller. He didn't fire him, no one's even proven he talked about it, but some anonymous weasel said he considered doing so and the Left is citing this as evidence he should be impeached, or some such. If that's going to happen either way and Trump wants them gone he should just make it so. There is unlikely to be much in the way of increased negative political consequences for him - he has the right under the Constitution to do it - it might even be better for him if he did rather than simply being accused of considering it.

-sw

Achilles said...

Trump: Mr. Mueler, while director of the FBI did you know about or order a conspiracy by Andrew McCabe, Weissman, Rosenstein, and Comey to white wash the Clinton's in the Uranium One investigation where despite numerous bribery and extortion charges involving Russians and our uranium industry nobody went to jail?.

Mueller: I invoke my 5th amendment right to silence.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"Mueller: I invoke my 5th amendment right to silence."

Ha!

Presumably this is meant to be a paraphrase.

traditionalguy said...

This post shows clearly that it is the corruption of Congress, including 6 GOP Senators, who have been pocketing hundreds of millions in secret donations from Soros and Alaweed for many years that wants Trump boxed in with a never ending Pretend Impeachment.

Good news is that DJT and his Military Intelligence have gotten detailed confessions from Alaweed and MI5 identifying the corrupt people who are now going down by resignation or Military Tribunal using Trump's 12/23/17 Executive Order proclaiming a National Emergency and confiscation of wealth stolen by political corruption.

Achilles said...

Trump: Mr Mueller, do you know anything about a conspiracy among numerous democrats to commit fraud and violate the espionage act in order to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on their political opponents?

Mueller: I will have to again invoke my 5th amendment right to remain silent.


Mueller is facing serious jail time right now.

Achilles said...

anti-de Sitter space said...
"Mueller: I invoke my 5th amendment right to silence."

Ha!

Presumably this is meant to be a paraphrase.


Want me to quote Hillary's IT contractors?

Have fun pretending to care about limitations on executive power. Your heroes are all going to jail. If you all are lucky.

Owen said...

Mueller is German for "Miller." A guy who grinds and grinds and grinds. You don't want to get your coat-tails caught in his millstones. Stay well clear.

cubanbob said...

Does Manchin think the Special Counsel is part of the judicial branch?"

Althouse Manchin is desperate to change the focus of what is going on. He knows his reelection in WV is in serious trouble and he thinks by acting this way he can fool the Hillbilly's one more time.

jaydub said...

Mark makes a great deal of sense, and I really appreciate his succinct and logical analysis. My fundamental problems with all this malarky has always been that a) there's no crime alleged, b) no one knows for sure whether Mueller is even investigating Trump, c) how do you get to obstruction of justice when there is no case to obstruct, and d) what precidents are being established by the current witch hunt? Yet people are debating impeaching a duly elected president over - what? Democrats and the media are comfortable fomenting a constitutional crisis that is certain to end in widespread violence because - why?

Observing the madness of my countrymen from across the Atlantic for the past couple of years has been really frightening.

Paul said...

What goes around, comes around. Just like the 'nuclear option' backfired on Reid and the Democrats so will any effort to make a law barring the firing of special prosecutors.

For if they don't recognize the three branches being equal (when convenient) just as they didn't keep the 60 percent vote rule, then one day the opposition party will use that against them (just as the Republicans have done with the nuke option.)

What goes around, comes around.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

If this is prisoners' dilemma, I would say Mueller and Rosenstein are the prisoners and Trump is the game master.

traditionalguy said...

The Executive Order to confiscate wealth of the politically corrupt was 12/21/17.

And the DOJ and the FBI are not involved. The Secretary of Treasury is doing it all, with none of the Deep State Obama Criminals at DOJ and FBI in position to stop it.

Trump has out flanked them. And the enforcement is being done by the President's direct command over his USMC.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stever said...

I realize this is just the media - largely anti-Trump - and Democrats talking..anti-Trump, but he was asking and nothing happened. A long time ago.

Tell me why this is important. NOTHING happened

Francisco D said...

Mark wrote: "The non-elected administrative state has essentially usurped the legislative power of the legislative branch through its leviathan -- and largely unconstitutional -- system of rules and regulations."

I am afraid you are right.

That is why they must destroy Trump.

Kevin said...

At what point does Mueller prefer to be fired rather than bring the ridiculous charges he can concoct?

What becomes of him on the left when he can find no evidence of "collusion"?

Perhaps Trump has determined it's better to let him stay on the hook.

traditionalguy said...

OK, Trump's response to Mueller should be "Nuts."

Michael K said...

Glad to see some people read Greenfield's talk.

This is a civil war.

The memo is coming out next week. All bets are off.

Kevin said...

You want to see political costs? Impeach Trump.

These people have no idea the political costs it would create.

buwaya said...

This is a very costly business, the Mueller probe and the impeachment threats and possible legislative threats, etc.

It creates a perception of political risk among investors. This adds to the risk premium in rate of return analyses, formal or informal. This certainly is reducing GDP growth.

The Trumpian moment has created a better business climate, but it is not as good as it could be because of these overhanging risks. The improved business climate will be gone in a flash should Trumps opponents manage to remove him.

The other factor is the public hysteria the MSM and allies are always feeding. A good bit of the US economy is suppressed because of widespread personal depression, and consequent lack of enthusiasm for risk-taking. This mutual hate is very costly.

tola'at sfarim said...

im more concerned abt the judicial overreach of that Judge halting Trumps daca decision. I would think thats more of a constitutional crisis, and interference between separate branches of govt

Achilles said...

stever said...
I realize this is just the media - largely anti-Trump - and Democrats talking..anti-Trump, but he was asking and nothing happened. A long time ago.

Tell me why this is important. NOTHING happened


They are preparing the Overton window for next week.

The memo is coming out. Trump is going to talk about it in his State of the Union which gives him an hour and a half of unfiltered access to 100+ million of the most active american voters in the country.

People are being prepared to ONLY think about it as Trump's personal dislike for Mueller.

The truth about what we are up against is coming out. They are trying to make it about Trump the crazy guy and not about a corrupt shadow government that does whatever it wants and is an enemy of the citizens it lords over.

Achilles said...

Kevin said...
You want to see political costs? Impeach Trump.

These people have no idea the political costs it would create.


Civil Wars start with politics.

Quaestor said...

If Trump tried to fire Mueller, Mueller would be scrounging dumpsters at this moment.

Kevin said...

Civil Wars start with politics.

Do you think any of those network talking heads think anything would happen except a peaceful transfer of power?

Of course not.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Where is the information the DOJ IG report is going to be issued next week? Last I heard from The Conservative Treehouse was the report was to be issued on MLK day a couple weeks ago. I've not heard any updates.

Achilles said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
Where is the information the DOJ IG report is going to be issued next week? Last I heard from The Conservative Treehouse was the report was to be issued on MLK day a couple weeks ago. I've not heard any updates.

I know they decided to push it back at some point. Not sure why.

At this point it will be better to break the ice with the memo and have Trump initiate during his State of the Union address.

After the Democrats bleat about politics and partisanship for a bit the IG report will come out and put the nails in the coffin.


Then the real fun and games begin.

Hagar said...

So far, anything resembling facts (which is not much relative to the noise) that have come out of Mueller's "investigation" has favored Trump and has exposed misbehavior by the various anti-Trump brigades.

So, why on earth would Trump wish to fire Mueller?

Skyler said...

Just another non-issue. He didn't fire Mueller. He took the advice of staff and didn't fire Mueller. If the story is even true at all, which is increasingly unlikely no matter the topic.

Beldar said...

I watched the interview. I interpreted Manchin to be referring, quite plainly, to the fact that the ultimate check upon any POTUS is Congress' power to impeach and remove him from office, which is a political determination, not a judicial one.

I heard nothing which would cause me to suspect that Sen. Manchin thinks Mueller is part of the judicial branch. I think Sen. Manchin understands, as should we all, that Mueller has access to the judicial branch and its remedies for violations of criminal laws.

Even after reading the transcribed portions she's quoted here, I am baffled as to why Prof. Althouse interpreted his remarks in a way that are certainly unflattering to his intellect and understanding of the basic principles of American government. I don't get the point of this post, in other words.

Beldar said...

Further to my comment above:

We may be quite close to Mueller using his access, as special counsel under the direction of Rosenstein as Acting AG, to the judicial branch: If, as some are already counseling him to do, Trump refuses to sit for an interview, the next thing Mueller would surely do is get a grand jury subpoena to compel Trump's appearance and testimony before a grand jury. Given that Team Trump would surely challenge Mueller's legal authority, we'd very quickly be in the kind of procedural setting that resulted in Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988), which (over Scalia's memorable "wolf that comes dressed as a wolf" dissent) barely upheld the previous independent counsel statute that the current special counsel regs replaced.

Plus of course there's already been the Flynn guilty plea, and the Manafort and associate indictments are still pending, in the judicial branch.

So yes, all three branches of government are in play and implicated by the decisions that Trump's currrently confronting. And yes, "the judicial system and the three branches of government having equal power" are things that may indeed need protecting, depending on what Trump tries to do and how he goes about it.

hombre said...

Crikey! He didn't fire Mueller. What the hell is everybody blathering on about? If he intended to fire Mueller who could stop him?

As for discussing/contemplating the firing of Mueller, Trump would be remiss if he had not. Mueller is a conflicted political hack relying on a politically corrupt FBI that he helped create and has an interest in protecting.

Mark said...

In addition to having the legal and constitutional authority to terminate Mueller's employment, the President also can tell him that, "It's time to shit or get off the pot. You were hired to investigate this claim of Russian collusion based on pure speculation, without any evidence or reasonable suspicion. And you have found nothing in the several months since then. You've got two weeks to either bring charges related solely to this allegation of Russian collusion or, if you do not, shut everything down. This farce has gone on long enough. Oh, and by the way, you also have to show cause, with an audit of every penny of your enterprise, as to why you have been spending government funds all this time when you have known there is no crime."

Amadeus 48 said...

Right now things are going Trump's way. He needs to figure out how he wants to deal with Mueller. There should be some interesting developments over the next few weeks.

Beldar said...

@ Mark: You're ignoring the actual regulations at 28 CFR part 600. Mueller reports to Rosenstein, as Acting AG with respect to Mueller's appointment. Trump could instruct Mueller directly, notwithstanding the regulations, in which instance he'd trigger a political firestorm leading to his impeachment. Or he could instruct Rosenstein to so instruct Mueller; Rosenstein would refuse, because compliance would be contrary to part 600; and Trump could fire him, which would create a new Acting AG (which would be, IIRC, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand), in a Saturday Night Massacre cascade until Trump found his Bork. At which point, see above, re impeachment.

So yeah, he could do that, but no, not really.

steve uhr said...

Of course if trump is confident he did nothing wrong why wouldn't he want to be "officially" exonerated. Oh I forgot - the deep state is constructing a case out of whole cloth based on fake documents and paid off witnesses.

Rabel said...

The alleged attempted firing allegedly occurred in June, 2017, it is alleged.

Mike Sylwester said...

Tom at 2:54 PM
Trump’s reason can easily be deeper than the official reason Comey was fired - he simply felt Comey was untrustworthy and what’s on paper are two sordid reasons for that feeling.

I think that President Trump guessed -- correctly -- that "Crazy Comey the Leaker" was the person who told Trump-hating journalists that the dossier was part of an intelligence briefing given to Trump in early January 2017.

That leak -- probably from Comey -- empowered the major news organizations to begin reporting about the dossier's contents.

Trump could not prove that the leaker was Comey -- who probably was the leaker -- but Trump's suspicion would be a major factor in his decision to fire "Crazy Comey the Leaker".

Gahrie said...

When a legislator talks about restoring the equality of the three branches, I suspect he is looking to gain more power for the legislative and take away power from the executive.

That would actually be kind of nice for a change, since Congress has been rolling over and allowing the Executive Branch to accrue power for a couple of decades.

It doesn't matter if he is confusing the branches. It is a power grab.

Congress needs to reassume more of its power.

The DNC/MSM strongly supports taking away power from the executive branch ...... when a Republican is POTUS. Otherwise not so much.

This is true. And it is also true that the MSM would have sided with Obama had the Republican Congress been more aggressive in asserting its power...they should have anyway.

My biggest problem with 2017 was how completely unprepared the Congressional Republicans were to govern. Budget bills, tax reform and immigration reform should have been submitted the first week of Congress. For most of November and all of December they knew they were going to control both the Executive and Legislative branches, and have a friendly Supreme Court.

Inga said...

“@ Mark: You're ignoring the actual regulations at 28 CFR part 600. Mueller reports to Rosenstein, as Acting AG with respect to Mueller's appointment. Trump could instruct Mueller directly, notwithstanding the regulations, in which instance he'd trigger a political firestorm leading to his impeachment. Or he could instruct Rosenstein to so instruct Mueller; Rosenstein would refuse, because compliance would be contrary to part 600; and Trump could fire him, which would create a new Acting AG (which would be, IIRC, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand), in a Saturday Night Massacre cascade until Trump found his Bork. At which point, see above, re impeachment.

So yeah, he could do that, but no, not really.”

Hallelujah, finally someone who makes sense. All the bravado about Trump doing whatever he pleases is just silly. He is president, not King. The Constitution doesn’t protect him if he acts with corrupt intent.

Hyphenated American said...

President Trump should put a few reasonable conditions for the interview:
That Mueller himself be present
That any and all people he brings to the interview would take the oath
That the interview is recorded
And that mueller and all the people he brings with him will be required to answer the questions from the president and his associates....

Last but not least, given that Mueller is tasked to investigate the Russian interference into the 2016 elections and the alleged collusion of president Trump with Putin, all questions by Mueller would be limited to that subject. All other questions from Mueller and his team are out of order and should immediately result in Mueller being fired on the spot.

Agreed?

narciso said...

This is the same bob gators who signed off on the uranium one deal, right, we forget about that?

Mark said...

ignoring the actual regulations at 28 CFR part 600

I'm not ignoring the actual non-legislative, agency written and promulgated regulations at 28 CFR part 600. I'm following the Constitution, which the regulation does not.

And were the President to follow his constitutional prerogative as the Chief Executive, the Dems could yell and scream about impeachment and make moves in that direction, but Trump would call them out for what it is -- an attempted coup.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Today Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) linked to something very appropriate for the times we are going through: Guns Are How A Civil War Ends... Politics Is How It Starts. I don't see how anyone can read a good volume of Civil War history without accepting that the proximate cause was the South deciding that they would not abide with the election of Abraham Lincoln, coupled with their naive belief that the other side would not fight. I think Democrats are way too blase about the impact of removing Trump from office other than by his losing in 2020, or by his term ending with the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States in January 2025, or by committing a real crime, by which I mean not merely pissing off Democrat politicians and bigwigs in the press.”

I was thinking about that article in the previous thread. What the Democrats need to remember is that there are many more guns in this country that people, and the vast majority of them were Trump voters. I was reminded of a fictional story about a coup that would have put Crooked Hillary back into the White House. And the line that stuck in my mind was about all across the country, upon hearing about the coup, patriotic Trump voters opened up their gun safes. It ended with one of our airborne divisions dropping onto the Mall, and the soldiers who had attacked the White House dropping their guns, after discovering that their commanding officers had committed treason. Which is another part of this - that the enlisted ranks anymore tend to be Trump voters, and esp the combat troops. Ditto National Guard, who have to be activated by governors, most of whose states voted for Trump.

What has to be remembered is that a large number of gun owners, as well as combat arms military, LEOs etc, are white working or middle class. Maybe traditionally a bit more Republican than Democrat, but still plenty of the latter. These latter were essentially run out of the Democratic Party by Obama and Crooked Hillary. The upper middle class used to be the bulwark of the Republican Party, but that has shifted down a bit socioeconomicly. And it has traditionally been the inherent conservatism of the upper middle class that has allowed the Democrats to walk over the Republicans, who would do the “right thing”, instead of fighting back. We are starting to see that dynamic - such as when all those armed citizens showed up to stand against the violent Antifa thugs in Charlottesville. Much quicker to rumble, and much less susceptible to arguments of civility when the other side is anything but.

Maybe a long way of agreeing with Big Mike that the Democrats really don’t have any idea of the thin ice that they are treading on, when trying to replace a duly elected President Trump.

Mike Sylwester said...

How come Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller has not indicted "Crazy Comey the Leaker"?

After all, Comey himself has admitted publicly that he is a leaker!

Has Mueller ever even merely questioned Comey about his leaking?

-----

Mueller never will indict anyone for copying the e-mails from the DNC server.

Marcel Lehel Lazer, a Romanian hacker who calls himself "Guccifer 2.0", supposedly bragged that he was the hacker. Lazer was extradited to the USA in 2016, and so Mueller could have indicted Lazer long ago.

Of course, Mueller has known from the beginning that Lazer had nothing to do with this matter. The e-mails were copied from the DNC server by Seth Rich, using a thumb drive.

The problem for Mueller is that the FBI used the DNC e-mails as its justification for investigating Trump's campaign staff. If some foreign intelligence service allegedly copied the e-mails, then the FBI could justify its actions as a counter-intelligence investigation.

By the way, that's exactly the reason why the FBI has been playing stupid about Seth Rich. If Rich ever is revealed to be the culprit, then the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation will subsequently be revealed to be a bogus farce.

rcocean said...

I try to stay away from this Mueller crap because every time I think about it I get angry.

When is this fucking circus going to end? Mueller's been fucking around for 7 months now. He was *supposed* to be investigating Trump-Russia, but there's nothing there. Which brings up the question as why the DAG gave Mueller a blank check instead of strict limits on his investigation.

The fact is, no one has ever explained what *Specific* crime Trump committed or what he was "obstructing" or why we needed a Special counsel.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ignoring the actual regulations at 28 CFR part 600”

What must be remembered about federal regulations is that they are enacted by the Executive Branch according to federal statute. They aren’t federal law, per se (which is where we might get into Jackson’s Youngstown Steel concurrence), but rather, essentially one Administration’s interpretation and implementation of federal statute. Binding a President from carrying out his Artice II Executive function essentially would mean that one President could bind his successor with the stroke of a pen. (And we have found out over the last year just how well that worked for Obama).

rcocean said...

There's never been a DoJ that has gone after its own POTUS like this one. Sessions has to be a backstabber or the biggest fool to ever be appointed AG.

If I was Trump, I'd fire Rosenstein ONE SECOND after Muller finishes his report.

n.n said...

Obama fired an inconvenient IG, spied on Americans and Republican candidate, and went on global social justice adventures (e.g. elective regime change, catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform). There was no political cost.

rcocean said...

As for Firing Mueller. What would be the point, NOW?

You might as well give him another 3-4 months.

But if he's still going on and on about nothing - tell the DAG to rein him in, or fire him.

narciso said...

The offense was winning, the election, actually the first guccfer was the one who revealed Hillary's secret server by Ryan dealey had that story hidden for two year.

mockturtle said...

Yeah, what's the deal with Sessions? Trump appointed him against most people's advice. I assumed it was a payback for supporting him early in the primaries. My emails to Trump urged him to pick Trey Gowdy or Ted Cruz, both of whom would have made far better Attorneys General than has Sessions.

Martin said...

I clicked through and looked at the transcript and was impressed how about 80% of the show was about leaks. The only thing that was real was about immigration. Everything else was leaks, and of course every leaker has an agenda and only tells one side, so treating leaks as serious news is crazy. They are agitprop, even when true, because they hide the context.

That goes for the "Trump wanted to fire Mueller (but didn't)" leak as well as the "Hillary kept a harasser on her 2008 campaign" leak. Both sides.

It's all garbage. This whole country has descended to the level of rival cliques of girls in middle school.

Francisco D said...

Gahrie: "My biggest problem with 2017 was how completely unprepared the Congressional Republicans were to govern. "

Sadly true. Much more should have been accomplished.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

How quickly we forgot that Rosenstein 'advised' Sessions to recuse. And chose Mueller too.

narciso said...

Well not exactly, he recused after the checkmate sally Yates, employer of Bruce ohr. Had put to him.

narciso said...

the leaks come from different sources

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/01/28/oh-lordy-destruction-of-evidence-important-interview-between-bob-goodlatte-and-maria-bartiromo/

But you're right Sunday shows with few exceptions, have little relation to the real world.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Rosenstein and McCabe should be fired, Strozk fi4red and possibly indicted.

Lem said...

The more press devoted to Mueller's Trump/Russia Collusion fantasy, the closer it will resemble Hillary's election loss when it's over.

squeeze me while I go ahead and tweet this.

dreams said...

The Dems are fighting a civil war?

"How do civil wars happen?

Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge.

That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.
***
The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this.

The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.
***
What do sure odds of the Dems rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win.

It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.

That’s a civil war.

There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement.

You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

Your very own dictatorship.

The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to the left, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate."

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/01/are-the-democrats-fighting-a-civil-war.php

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Lem - you nailed it.

Beldar said...

@ Mark, who insisted above (1/28/18, 6:01 PM): "I'm not ignoring the actual non-legislative, agency written and promulgated regulations at 28 CFR part 600. I'm following the Constitution, which the regulation does not."

Okay, I'll bite. Which section or subsection of part 600 do you contend does not follow the Constitution -- by which I presume you mean, "is unconstitutional" -- and what part of the Constitution does it offend, and what's your caselaw authority to support your proposition? Morrison, which I cited above, upheld the prior independent counsel statute (over Justice Scalia's fine dissent), but the features which made that statute almost but not quite unconstitutional according to the majority don't exist in the present set of regs. So I'm really curious about your argument.

As for your further comment: "And were the President to follow his constitutional prerogative as the Chief Executive, the Dems could yell and scream about impeachment and make moves in that direction, but Trump would call them out for what it is -- an attempted coup."

Which would present him from being impeached by the House and removed by the Senate exactly how? If Trump starts overriding federal regulations like those in 28 C.F.R. part 600, including by firing people left or right, he can argue "unitary executive theory" until he's blue in the face, and it will no more save him than it saved Nixon. Recall that among the allegations in Nixon's articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee were his "[i]nterfering or endeavouring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees." What forced Nixon to resign — and what never coalesced, alas, during the Clinton impeachment — were the defections from Congressional members of his own party. And that's what will happen if Trump does something ridiculously stupid, like firing Mueller — as cooler heads like McGahn's assuredly told him last summer and continue to tell him now.

Beldar said...

Mueller, as special counsel under 28 C.F.R. part 600, actually has less discretionary authority than any one of the 93 U.S. Attorneys who make investigation and prosecution decisions, without day-to-day oversight from anyone that's comparable to the AG's (or Acting AG's) oversight of every special counsel. And he doesn't have a remote fraction of the power or independence of independent counsel under the now-expired statute (which both sides very deliberately allowed to lapse). He's an appointee not of some ad hoc panel of judges, nor of some congressional committee, but of the AG (or here, Acting AG), the cabinet officer at the head of the DoJ — so none of the key constitutional issues that drove Morrison come remotely close to being implicated. In contrast to the former independent counsel, the AG (or acting AG) can override any and all of a special counsel's decisions, including prosecutorial decisions whether to indict or not. Except insofar as his indictments reveal his decisions, a special counsel doesn't report to the public, or to Congress, but only confidentially to the AG, whose further reporting responsibilities to Congress are extremely limited.

The special counsel regs also make Mueller subject to all of the DoJ's regular rules and regulations and policies regarding ethics and conflicts of interest. Are you arguing, Mark, that those are unconstitutional too?

As I say, I'm curious to hear your argument, if you in fact have one, regarding why the regs don't follow the Constitution.

narciso said...

What is the crime, again Beldar, now Morrison was over a routine failure to produce some EPA document, why they couldn't be handled in-house is still a quandary, the deems memorized scalias dissent, like Nixon's objections in Watergate, when has rosenstein turned down an extension of authority?

Beldar said...

@ Bruce Hayden: Whether Trump has the constitutional power to override 28 C.F.R. part 600 with the stroke of a pen, he certainly doesn't have the power to shield himself from the political consequences of doing that in the Congress, does he?

Nixon likewise had the constitutional power to order the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, even though it cost him the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Cox stayed fired, but Nixon soon found himself out of a job, too.

narciso said...

There were alternatives, the irony is the left always screams treason or espionage, enough weak kneed republicans buy it:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/600.2

Beldar said...

@ narciso: Obviously, Mueller has judicially established one crime so far, through Flynn's guilty plea, and he's in the process of trying to establish others with respect to Manafort and his associate. Just as obviously, Mueller hasn't yet tried to indict Trump. As you know from reading my comments elsewhere, I doubt that Mueller ever will. But none of that bears upon the question of whether Mueller's appointment or investigation so far is illegal or unconstitutional or in any other way contrary to law. Nor does any of that define or circumscribe Trump's legal authority to act as POTUS, or the Congress' ability to act as a constitutional check on him as POTUS through its political impeachment process.

narciso said...

I told you what general flynns offense was, it want favoritism to the Turks, otherwise the Kurds wouldn't be running for their lives, it want paperwork commissions, half of k street would be in the dock,

Char Char Binks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

Yes but Archibald Cox was a long time Kennedy retainer, there was no coverup in hid background, unlike rosenstein and comeys record, both of those a well as. Mueller were party to the suppression of the uranium one sting, which is more in line with abuse of power.

Beldar said...

I wish I'd seen this, from our hostess, earlier (1/28/18, 3:02 PM):

"[Manchin] stresses that there are 'equal branches and there's equal powers' and 'checks and balances' that Trump doesn't understand or want to have to deal with. He says Congress might have to pass legislation to 'protect the judicial system and the three branches of government having equal power.'"

But that's not what Manchin said! It wasn't him who was talking about passing legislation to protect the special counsel, it was Chuck Todd who uttered that preposterous suggestion!

Then Manchin responds by pointing to the current situation: "Let's see if he moves on [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein." I interpreted that to mean, "by, for instance, ordering Rosenstein to fire Mueller, or by firing Rosenstein himself." (Trying to abolish the special counsel regulation, which others in these comments are suggesting, is another possibility that's even more outlandishly improbable in the real world.)

Why would you presume, though, Prof. Althouse, that the only way in which Congress might then respond would be passing some legislation to protect Mueller, as Todd (stupidly) suggested? Why do you attribute Todd's stupidity to Manchin? Why wouldn't you assume that he'd be talking about action by the Judiciary Committees of each chamber in their continuing oversight roles of the DoJ and/or their potential impeachment jurisdiction? Those are the constitutional mechanism of checks and balances, and he's clearly talking about constitutional checks and balances, not ordinary legislation.

narciso said...

That latter seems more likely.

Manchin: chuck, we got to fish or cut bait, what has Mueller produced for all the time and money, that has been spent on this boondoggle,

narciso said...

Seeing a strzok interviewed flynn, through a subterfuge that didn't allow hon to have an atty present. Heck detainees at gitmo currently have more rights, then a senior presidential staffer.

narciso said...

And we know atrOk was deeply conflicted re this investigation,

Achilles said...

Beldar said...

The special counsel regs also make Mueller subject to all of the DoJ's regular rules and regulations and policies regarding ethics and conflicts of interest. Are you arguing, Mark, that those are unconstitutional too?

Do you honestly believe Mueller doesn't have any conflicts of interest?

Mueller should be fired just based on his abuse of the statute he was appointed under.

Much less the conspiracy charges he will be indicted on later.

Achilles said...

Beldar said...
@ narciso: Obviously, Mueller has judicially established one crime so far, through Flynn's guilty plea, and he's in the process of trying to establish others with respect to Manafort and his associate.

Flynn was charged with a process crime. He was interviewed by the same man that "interviewed" Hillary and let her walk and even changed the wording of the report so she wouldn't be charged.

Manafort was charged with crimes he committed 6 years ago. Before he was charged the people charging him gave the Podesta criminals a heads up to get their paperwork straight, because they were guilty of the same "crime" that nobody has been charged with for years.


You are making excuses for a Stalinist witch hunt.

Achilles said...

Beldar said...

Nixon likewise had the constitutional power to order the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, even though it cost him the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Cox stayed fired, but Nixon soon found himself out of a job, too.

Nixon was guilty of covering up the involvement of aides in a robbery he neither ordered or had knowledge of.

vs.

Obama and Hillary allowed contractors from Fusion GPS and Crowdstrike and many others to illegally view surveillance intelligence hey had no clearance for where the American Citizens names had illegally been unmasked by the Obama admin.

Fusion GPS recycled this information and fed it through other sources and produced a dossier.

The Obama administration took this dossier and used it to fraudulently obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.


We are past the point where we care about section 600 in some stupid regulation a non elected bureaucrat foisted on us. Impeaching Trump would be terminally stupid for the DC regime.

narciso said...

So why do we pretend otherwise, you know the example of Ronnie earle he went through three grand juries, chisholm, Mcdonnell's pursuers, Stevens witchunters who vouched for William Allen.

Lucien said...

I’m confused. Beldar seems to be arguing that Trump can’t overrule an internal regulation of an Executive Branch department that works for him. I’m not an attorney and don’t have a legal background, but... can that be right?

I mean, it might be “the way it is” but it doesn’t make sense to me. It would be like the CEO of my company not being able to fire me and only my boss (who is about five levels below the CEO) can fire me. That would just be silly - and of course is not the case..

Achilles said...

Choo Chooo.

This train is rolling tomorrow at 5PM EST.

Just in time for Trump to put it out straight to over 100 million people without the media filter. After he talks for a bit about how well the economy is going and how ridiculous it is for democrats to put illegals first of course.

It would be even better for them to hold the release for the SOTU address. We will see.

Gonna be fun and games all summer long.

Levi Starks said...

I’m just happy to know they’ve given up on the idea that there was any collusion. Whatever that means.
Now they’ve moved on to hoping Trump tried to obstruct the investigation that will have in then end proven to be a waste of time and money.

narciso said...

It was the subterfuge, even more threadbare than the blame kerfluffle, but that's all they got.

iowan2 said...

So President Trump calls Rosenstien to the Oval Office. He asks him if any evidence exists concerning Russian Collusion. If Rosenstien waffles, Trump tells him to fire Mueller for collusion with the DNC. This collision thing has been investigated since May of 2016. We are fast approaching an investigation lasting 2 years. No evidence, The President is within his power to reassign assets to productive activities. Well within his Presidential power. Thus, since no collusion, there can be no obstruction of justice. Telling Comey to cease and desist has been proven, by lack of evidence, a reasonable order, by the Nations top law enforcement officer.

Original Mike said...

anti-de Sitter space said...”Frum, w/ facts and historical references, tries to make the point that, going forward, the Executive may need more legal restraints because a POTUS's fidelity to America can't be assumed, anymore:"

I watched Frum on Steve Hilton’s show this evening. Frum is one angry dude.

PatHMV said...

There simply should not be "special counsels" whose primary purpose is to investigate the President and his top advisors. The Constitution provides a path for such investigations, a path far saner than the bizarro world of a subordinate investigating his boss. A committee of the House of Representatives can appoint a special counsel to investigate the President and his advisors to determine whether they have committed any high crimes or misdemeanors. If so, they can impeach him and, if the Senate convicts, the new President can ensure that criminal charges follow, if appropriate.

Unrestrained power is always bad, and special counsel have very nearly unrestrained power. It's really bizarre that the Democrats, who lost the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, can use the political pressure of the media to empower the bureaucrats who hate the man the American people elected President to spend tens of millions of dollars investigating that same President.

If we do keep the absurd practice of the special counsel in the executive branch (at least the "Independent Prosecutor" statute was allowed to expire), we should add a time limit. One year from appointment to bring any and all indictments. After that year, the counsel can continue through trial on any cases, but cannot bring new charges.

Birkel said...

After months of spying on Trump before the election, between the election and the Inauguration, and even after the election - there is no evidence of wrongdoing that the FBI or Mueller has produced.

Not one scintilla of evidence against Trump.

So, can somebody explain what legitimate purpose Mueller could possibly be serving. I will stipulate the Democrat position: because REASONS!

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

Third election should have been a second Inauguration...
Poor editing, me.

Yancey Ward said...

Mueller will only get fired if Rosenstein turns out to have been a corrupt player in the burgeoning FBI scandal. A lot, if not all, of the decisions that have been made the DoJ to withhold and stall in giving evidence to the congressional committees doing oversight are probably being made by Rosenstein since Sessions recusal. If he is complicit in that conspiracy, it explains the reticence of the DoJ to supply documentation in a timely manner.

anti-de Sitter space said...

OM,

This:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFM1NU2lzYI

Bruce Hayden said...

I am cross posting this to two different Trump threads.

I was struck today by the thesis in an article by Daniel Greenfield via PowerLine article titled: ARE THE DEMOCRATS FIGHTING A CIVIL WAR? in regards to the claim that Trump could be obstructing justice by firing Coney, and maybe Mueller.

One basic problem that I see here is the idea that the government has some sort of independent justification or legitimacy, above and beyond being an apparatus for implementing the President's Article II Executive power. This is implicit in the idea that Trump couldn't fire either Comey or Mueller, and that he could somehow be obstructing justice by doing so. If the legitimacy of the DoJ is derived from the President's Constitutional powers, then how can he be obstructing justice by telling those who owe their legitimacy to him what to do? By firing them? What they would be saying, from a Constitutional point of view, if he were to be charged with lying to the FBI, Is that he is, essentially lying to himself. Because, in our form of government, the executive branch of government has no independent legitimacy beyond what the President delegates to it out of his Article II powers. The critical point here is that no one elected the bureaucrats. We are a country governed by the consent of the governed, through our national contract, our Constitution. We agree to being governed by this government, as long as it doesn't breach the contract. We don't elect the bureaucrats, but we do elect the President and give him, via this contract, the entirety of the government's executive power, to do, within limits imposed by that document, and duly enacted laws, what he wills with that power. All of that executive power. And the bureaucrats derive their legitimacy and power from their boss, the President.

We take pride in having orderly transitions of power. Many countries do not. Three times though, at least, the Democrats were not happy with the results of elections won by Republicans. The first was not orderly, but rather was quite bloody. The second time, they grudgingly gave in, after having been caught trying to steal the Presidency after the fact. This, third time, is much worse. The previous Administration spent 8 years weaponizing the bureaucracy to its own ends, and esp the DoJ, where progressive litmus test hiring was the norm, filing the ranks of attorneys there with Dem partisans. And, I think, we are seeing the results of that, a second American Civil War, with the Dems and the bureaucrats at war with their duly elected Republican leaders. They are doing what they can to destroy the President, destroy his legitimacy, and remove him from office, one way or another. Of course, it isn't just the Presidency - the DoJ intentionally did not inform the Congressional Gang of 8 of the FISA warrant for Trump Tower, that they were legally required to do, and the Obama deputy AG illegally prevented the OIG from overseeing the DoJ National Security division that obtained that warrant.

Yes, it does scare me. An unaccountable, runaway, unelected bureaucracy, doing essentially what is wishes, regardless of the will of the people who are supposed to be supreme, who the bureaucrats are supposed to serve. Our government has immense power, and more and more, that power seems to be wielded by those unelected bureaucrats. Trump was elected to put limits on this, which is why the permanent bureaucracy is fighting him so viciously. If he fails, I am not sure that we will have another chance.

Jeff H said...

"I think they're talking about unconstitutional limitations on the President's power to remove an executive branch official..."

Considering that we have an entire criminal enterprise masquerading as a political party, whose sole purpose at this point is to ignore the Constitution and the limits it places on the powers of government, does it surprise that they're "talking about" unconstitutionally limiting the power of the President?

traditionalguy said...

Simple answer to all of the Congress of 535 rules over all theory for making war on Trump would not be firing the corrupt Mueller, but it would be arresting all of the 535 who took their usual bribe money in hundreds of millions from Saudi Arabia and Soros. Suddenly Congress would also want to make America great again.

DJT has given them the option of announcing they will not run again/resignation, and many have taken it.

Chuck said...

I think Manchin said “judicial system” because he meant “judicial system.” Of course, Manchin isn’t much of a legal scholar. But he’s downright sensible compared to a legal moron like Trump.

Her Trumpism is making it harder and harder to decipher some of Althouse’s legal posts. On the subject of a “judicial system” with tripartite elements, we’ve seen overwhelming, historic examples: a special counsel law that was a product of Congres, and then allowed to expire; the case of U.S. v. Nixon, in which federal courts ordered the production of purely-executive-branch tape recordings. As a result of Congressional and DoJ special counsel investigations.

It is always an intertwined operation — “the judicial system” — and Althouse’s bright line about executive branch prerogatives and the judicial branch seems as cartoonish as some of Trump’s own comments about federal judges.

Bad Lieutenant said...
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Birkel said...

I look forward to Trump's second term as president.

I would bet dollars to donuts Trump tries to act to deliver the Union from public sector employee unions. The idea that the bureaucracy is a co-equal (or even superior) branch of government is laughable.

Finally, I enjoy when fopdoodles take time from their busy schedules to defend vulnerable Democrats while castigating a Republican president. That's just what LLRs will do.

AZ Bob said...

As a related note, all this business that Trump tried to fire Mueller is a little ridiculous. I think that the notion of executive privilege includes the ability of the President to have a discussion about doing something (which never happened) without it being revealed.

What I am driving at is directed at tv pundits who are saying that Trump wanting to fire Mueller is proof of obstruction of justice. Sorry. It is proof of nothing. It didn't happen.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The "OMG!!! TRUMP IS GOING TO FIRE MUELLER!!!" story is a big misdirection. This topic needs a "things are not as they seem" tag. If I'm a Democrat, I want Trump to fire Muller. I want to muddy the water as much as possible. The collusion narrative is quickly becoming a national joke. Smart Democrats are starting to look at the end game in what will likely be an unfavorable outcome. Provoking Trump into firing Mueller would provide a great deal of cover for both Democrats and their media allies.

Jim at said...

This is how desperate - and stupid - the left has become:

They've spent the better part of a week screaming about things Trump DIDN'T do.

Fucking imbeciles. All of them.