Friday, August 04, 2017

When Republicans Vote To Prevent Trump From Firing Mueller, Are They Signaling The Hope For Impeachment?


Thursday morning Trumpanzee was up early tweeting his nonsense about his pal Putin. He decided it blame the Republican-controlled Congress-- hi, Paul! hi, Mitch!-- for the deterioration of relations between the U.S. and Russia. "Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!" Can we thank the Kremlin for invading Ukraine or successfully interfering with the U.S. election to help install the most incompetent and divisive president the U.S. has ever had? Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger tweeted that Trumpanzee should direct his outrage at his Kremlin benefactor, "the murderous dictator who attacked our democracy." By Thursday evening, as the Senate was leaving for summer vacation, they decided to tie his hands in terms of recess appointments. He won't be able to do it because the Senate will do minute long pro-forma sessions, specifically designed to prevent him from firing Sessions and replacing his with a lackey.

There's been endless speculation-- primarily inside the Beltway and on MSNBC-- that Trump is likely to take the steps necessary to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller before his investigation leads to the kinds of criminal charges that will demand impeachment or even prison for Trump's family members and closest cronies and, perhaps, Trump himself. But I'm not so certain that this has gone much beyond the Beltway (and MSNBC) so far. I was actually stunned this week when I looked through the Morning Consult poll for Politico that showed most Americans say they've never heard of Mueller. The poll asked if voters have favorable or unfavorable opinions-- or haven't heard of-- of a long list of figures from TrumpWorld. These were the results for "Never Heard Of" just a couple of days ago:
Hope Hicks- 75%
Gary Cohn- 70%
Robert Mueller- 52%
Reince Priebus- 48%
Anthony Scaramucci- 47%
Steve Bannon- 43%
Chuck Schumer- 43%
Jared Kushner- 38%
Jeff Sessions- 34%
Kellyanne Conway- 34%
Mitch McConnell- 29%
Nancy Pelosi- 24%
Paul Ryan- 21%
Ivanka Trump- 17%
Melania Trump- 17%
Mike Pence- 15%
Senor Trumpanzee- 5%
Nancy Ohanian's Mueller portrait

Inside the Beltway, though, Mueller is highly regarded and thought of as a man of integrity. I think he's a Republican but supposedly not a right-wing loon, although why would anyone sane be a Republican? Anyway, yesterday CBS reported that there's a move in the Senate to prevent Trump from ousting him. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), both members of the Judiciary Committee introduced a bill yesterday that will allow any special counsel for the Justice Department to challenge his or her removal by going to court, with a review by a three-judge panel within 14 days of the challenge.
The bill would be retroactive to May 17, 2017-- the day Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Donald Trump's campaign.

"It is critical that special counsels have the independence and resources they need to lead investigations," Tillis said in a statement. "A back-end judicial review process to prevent unmerited removals of special counsels not only helps to ensure their investigatory independence, but also reaffirms our nation's system of check and balances."

Mueller was appointed as special counsel following Mr. Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey. Mueller, who was Comey's predecessor as FBI director, has assembled a team of prosecutors and lawyers with experience in financial fraud, national security and organized crime to investigate contacts between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

..."Ensuring that the special counsel cannot be removed improperly is critical to the integrity of his investigation," Coons said.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another member of the Judiciary panel, said last week that he was working on a similar bill that would prevent the firing of a special counsel without judicial review. Graham said then that firing Mueller "would precipitate a firestorm that would be unprecedented in proportions."

The Tillis and Coons bill would allow review after the special counsel had been dismissed. If the panel found there was no good cause for the counsel's removal, the person would be immediately reinstated. The legislation would also codify existing Justice Department regulations that a special counsel can only be removed for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest or other good cause, such as a violation of departmental policies.

In addition, only the attorney general or the most senior Justice Department official in charge of the matter could fire the special counsel.

In the case of the current investigation, Rosenstein is charged with Mueller's fate because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation.

This morning James Hohmann wrote that "Last night’s news that Robert Mueller has begun using a grand jury in federal court in Washington, as part of his investigation into possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, further boxes in the president and makes it more politically difficult to justify firing the special counsel... If President Trump ever lost the support of Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), he just might be doomed. A former state House speaker, Tillis is a reliable Republican apparatchik whose vote party leadership can count on. So it was a big deal yesterday when he introduced legislation with a Democratic colleague, Chris Coons (D-DE), to prevent Trump from firing Mueller without cause."

A new poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found strong opposition to firing Mueller in swing districts.
A new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll of the top 99 battleground congressional districts for 2018 shows voters in these swing districts strongly oppose any move by President Donald Trump to fire Special CounselRobert Mueller, and even stronger majorities oppose the idea of the President pardoning either himself or his top aides and family members.

These findings are especially notable since the survey is based only on voters in battleground House districts-- with 79 of the 99 districts now represented by Republican House members. That means the sample, and the results, lean more Republican than a full nationwide survey.

By a two-to-one margin, 60-29%, respondents say they would disapprove if President Trump and his team fire Special Counsel Mueller in the coming weeks; this includes 44% who strongly disapprove. Even in the 79 districts that are now Republican-held, the margin is essentially the same, 59-30%. Disapproval is even stronger among Independents, 66-23%.

A 64-33% majority already favors creating an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate issues linked to Russia and the 2016 election, and to report to the public. If the President were to fire Mueller, support for such a commission rises even higher, to a 72-22% majority. Again, the figure is essentially the same, 73-22%, among respondents in the 79 Republican-held districts. If Trump were to fire Mueller, a 67-26% majority across the full sample would also support having Congress establish a Special Prosecutor that President Trump could not fire.

An overwhelming 86-10% majority saysTrump should not be allowed to pardon himself from criminal prosecution-- a possibility the President and his team reportedly examined. Even among self-identified Republicans, an overwhelming 74-19% majority objects to the idea of the President pardoning himself. Respondents also oppose the President pardoning his aides and family members by a strong 69-27% margin.

Even with the Russia investigation in its early days and the election more than a year off, there is already a notable enthusiasm edge among Democrats in these battleground districts. Across all these districts, 61% of self-identified Democratic voters say they are extremely enthusiastic about voting for Congress in 2018 (10, on a 0-10 scale), compared to only 48% of self-identified Republicans.

Labels: , ,


At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) it's only a grand jury. It isn't an indictment. GJs often don't vote to indict.
2) no, just cuz a R and a D write a bill does not mean it will pass, or even get voted on, or even see the light of day. We all remember how Kucinich's articles of impeachment cleaned out the cheney/bush criminal admin... right???
3) no, voters don't give a fuck about any of this in states that went Nazi.
4) no, nobody's going to get impeached over this. BEST case is Kushner will be indicted and pardoned and maybe replaced in the royal court by tiffany. It's possible manafort could be indicted and actually serve time. But I'm sure the pretend prez will pardon him (and maybe everyone else). Thanks to Gerald ford for extending pardons to crimes not yet indicted or even investigated. Thanks to democraps and the sc for not correcting this expansion of the power of the unitary.


Post a Comment

<< Home