With each passing day, Donald Trump gets more angry about the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And as his furor escalates, he again comes back to what he thinks is the only solution: Get rid of Mueller.
Republicans on Capitol Hill have been only too happy to try and assist the president as he begins preparing his plan for how he will finally rid himself of Mueller. They’ve threatened to impeach Mueller’s boss, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, and even gone on Fox News to urge Trump to pull the plug on the Russia probe.
But there’s one problem with all of this strategizing by the White House and Trump’s defenders in Congress: No matter what they do, they cannot kill the investigation.
In May, Darren Samuelson wrote an article for Politico in which he noted that even if Mueller is dismissed, the probe will continue:
“Justice Department officials and FBI agents could simply pick up where a fired Mueller left off. State attorneys could bring their own charges against Trump and his associates. Even as a private citizen, Mueller might be able to publicize or share his findings with Congress.”
What if Trump fires Rosenstein and appoints someone who will do whatever Trump wants regarding Mueller and the Russiagate matter? Again, the investigation would not just cease to exist:
“Even a more compliant successor to Rosenstein might not be able to wind down the Russia investigation — at least not without fierce resistance from an outraged law enforcement and national security bureaucracy.”
Or, as former FBI Director James Comey remarked:
“[Y]ou’d have to fire the entire FBI and the entire Justice Department.”
And Comey also suggested a nightmare scenario for the president if he does decide to try and end the Russia probe:
“I could imagine U.S. attorney’s offices picking up pieces of it, different FBI offices picking up pieces of it.”
Instead of one investigation, Trump might then be facing dozens of individual probes, each of which could pose a new and totally unique threat to him that he and his attorneys cannot possibly fathom.
Also, there’s no way Trump can toss a monkey wrench into state investigations like the one in New York, where Attorney General Barbara Underwood is thought to be looking into criminal matters involving the president which include wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering.
So the next time you hear that Trump is thinking about ending the Russia investigation, keep in mind that he can’t. He’s completely powerless, and that’s what terrifies him the most.