The White House just let slip a big secret about firing Robert Mueller

Less than 24 hours removed from Donald Tru...

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 7:44 AM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 7:44 AM

Less than 24 hours removed from Donald Trump musing that "many people" have told him he should fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Sarah Sanders made clear that that the White House has researched such a move and believes Trump has the ability to do it.

"He certainly believes he has the power to do so," the White House press secretary said of the President's ability to fire Mueller. "We've been advised that the President certainly has the power to make that decision."

That. Is. A. Big. Deal.

Think about what Sanders is saying here. She is saying that that White House has sought out guidance as to whether Trump can fire the special counsel. And concluded that he can.

Which matters a lot, for two reasons.

1. That conclusion goes against the Code of Federal Regulations governing how and who can fire a special counsel.

The code says this:

"The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal."

That seems very, very clear.

"The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General" doesn't appear to leave a ton of wiggle room.

Remember that former President Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" refers to the resignations of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general because they weren't willing to fire special counsel Archibald Cox. Nixon eventually turned to Solicitor General Robert Bork, who was next in line in the chain of command, who fired Cox. (And, yes, it's the same Robert Bork.)

So, even in what is widely seen as one of the biggest crises of confidence in modern government history, Nixon followed the code on how to get a special counsel fired.

2. That conclusion speaks to just how far Trump has come in terms of Mueller's job status in a very short period of time.

Remember that for months and months, Trump -- perhaps on the advice of his legal team -- never mentioned Mueller by name.

It was only March 17 when Trump first raised Mueller by name in a tweet.

That tweet read: "The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!"

The following day, Trump tweeted on Mueller again: "Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!"

And it wasn't until Monday that we even heard Trump publicly acknowledge that some people -- ahem -- think he should fire Mueller. Now, suddenly, not only does Trump believe the Mueller probe "has gone too far" (in the words of Sanders) but he also has solicited advice on whether he can fire Mueller -- and concluded that he can.

Maybe we shouldn't be as surprised by these revelations given that The New York Times has previously reported that Trump decided to fire Mueller last summer but was talked out of it by White House counsel Donald McGahn.

But what we've learned about the research and conclusions the White House has drawn about Trump's ability to fire Mueller feels as though this is all picking up speed. And quickly.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
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Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
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Mille Lacs342
Renville322
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Brown302
Rock300
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Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
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