There have been some interesting theories about why Special Investigator Robert Mueller was hired, why he has put together a legal team of Clinton donors, how fair he actually is, etc. I’d like to look at another theory, why Democrats want Mueller fired. While no Democrats have called for Mueller to be fired directly, it seems a little odd to me how the chips have fallen.
Consider this, on July 19 Trump gives an interview where he suggests that if Mueller starts investigating items outside of Russia that would be grounds for firing. July 20 headline? Mueller expands probe to Trump business transactions. Citing unnamed officials, Bloomberg says Mueller is doing exactly what Trump said would get him fired. That’s a little too convenient for me.
Special prosecutors have a history of stepping out of bounds. Patrick Fitzgerald, already knowing it was Richard Armitage who leaked Valerie Plame’s name, put Scooter Libby in jail on trumped up obstruction charges so he could try to get to Dick Cheney. Kenneth Starr turned an investigation into a shady land deal into an impeachment trial for lying under oath about sex with an intern. It’s very likely Democrats are hoping the Russia probe will turn into something similar. Or at least a back ally way to get their white whale: Trump’s tax returns.
There is a lot of pressure on a special prosecutor to find something to justify their paycheck. Mueller’s team of Clinton donors also may have some incentive to find something. But getting fired could be just as good.
Mueller getting fired would still be a win for Democrats. I’m sure we can all imagine the headlines. Trump fired Comey on the recommendations of his Department of Justice. Comey had screwed up a couple investigations, based findings on the phony Russia dossier, been unclear about Trump not being under investigation, and after being fired Comey released classified info to the media to get Mueller hired in the first place. But that didn’t stop the media from speculating about Comey’s firing being obstruction of justice.
Can you imagine the media field day if Trump fires Mueller? Every tin foil hat conspiracy theory cooked up by CNN and MSNBC over the last six months will be permanently believable even if never verified. Firing Mueller will permanently create the specter of the Nixonian President who got away with it.
For Democrats, that would be a much better result than if Mueller concluded his investigation empty handed.