Each time Special Counsel Robert Mueller has taken yet another major step forward in his investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, the media has suddenly hyped up the notion that Trump is about to fire him. Perhaps the media is even correct to raise the notion, as Trump is erratically impulsive and he has a history of firing people who have tried to investigate his crimes. But Mueller is not about to get fired – and his actions today demonstrate that he knows he’s not getting fired.
The latest media excuse for hyping the “Mueller is about to get fired” storyline is that he just cut a plea deal with Michael Flynn, which will yield devastating results for Donald Trump and his family. But we were also told that Mueller was about to get fired after he arrested Paul Manafort. We heard it plenty of times before that. But here’s the reality: several major news outlets are reporting that Mueller just subpoenaed Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank, which has a documented history of laundering Russian money into the hands of clients in New York City.
It’s long been widely believed that Donald Trump is most worried about Robert Mueller getting into his finances. So let’s say there was any possibility that Trump might try to fire Mueller this week in retaliation for the Flynn plea deal. If so, Mueller is savvy enough that he’d be laying low and waiting for Trump’s moment of impulsive rage to pass. Instead, Mueller is going for the jugular by choosing right now to send subpoenas to Deutsche Bank. He knew the bank would immediately announce the subpoena to the media. Mueller is almost taunting Trump right now.
Yet we’ve spent all year watching Robert Mueller work largely in secret. He clearly has the discipline, and the political savvy, to know how and when to keep himself protected. His decision to go after Donald Trump’s finances, at a time when the media is (once again) certain that Trump is about to fire him, means that Mueller somehow knows he can’t get fired. He must have assurances from Congress, or some other failsafe in place, that allows him to operate with absolute certainty that his job is safe. Otherwise he’d have waited another week for the Michael Flynn smoke to clear before poking the Deutsche Bank bear.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report