Why is Mary McCord, the leader of the DOJ’s Trump-Russia investigation, resigning?

Mary McCord, the current Acting Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, who has been leading the DOJ’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, announced today that she’ll be leaving the job. This has led to all kinds of concern and consternation about what might be going on behind the scenes at the DOJ, and how this might negatively impact the investigation. So why is she leaving?

If you’re looking for a definitive answer, I’ll save you some time up front: I don’t have one. Neither does anyone else on the outside. But here’s what stands out to me. When Donald Trump forcibly ousted the likes of Sally Yates and Preet Bharara, there were fireworks aplenty. Yates had just put out a public statement refusing to go along with Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban. Bharara had just announced that he was refusing to resign and Trump would have to fire him. And the minute Trump decided he wanted them each gone, they were gone.

In contrast, here’s what stands out about Mary McCord’s departure: nothing. There have been no fireworks, no public back and forth, nothing controversial leaking out, no forewarning. Moreover, McCord says she’ll be remaining on the job through next month (source: NPR). And that might be the key to the whole thing. If Trump were forcing her out for strategic reasons, she’d be gone today, not quietly pre-announcing her own future departure.

So what’s this really about? It’s possible that Mary McCord never wanted to remain on the job during the Trump administration but stayed on out of a sense of duty, and is now finally ready to hang it up. But why dutifully lead the Trump-Russia investigation for three or four months, only to hang it up before reaching completion? That tells me that maybe she knows something we don’t.

The DOJ under Trump’s close ally Jeff Sessions was never going to be able to properly prosecute Trump-Russia even after Sessions recused himself. Perhaps McCord knows a special prosecutor is on the way. Or maybe it is something darker. But for now at least, the total lack of fireworks or urgency involved in her pending departure tells me this probably isn’t the kind of problem that some fear it is. We’ll see. Contribute to Palmer Report

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  1. DC Cardwell on April 21, 2017 at 4:36 am

    I do hope you’re right. And eye what you say makes as much sense as any analysis. Still, I’d be happier if she were to give a reason! There have been so many shady things going on that is hard not to speculate.

    Maybe it’ll all be over before the time comes around!

  2. Mushmouth on April 21, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Maybe she knows that she will be fired and is circumventing it BUT by announcing that she is staying the month means it’d look REALLY suspicious if he now had her walked off property.

    But I’m not sure how much of 45s game isn’t him just trying to LOOK crazy so who knows

  3. michael straus on April 21, 2017 at 7:51 am


  4. John Scharff on April 21, 2017 at 9:39 am

    How about this for a reason she left. Lets assume she knows a lot and arrests are comming. She knows she will be tied up for possibly years in trials and testimony making her unable to carryout daily duties. She opens up her position so she can not encumber what will be continueing investigation and litigation for 5 years minimum. Also any claims of the DOJ is trump scalp hunting will be lessened if she’s no longer an employee. I can think of darker reasons but prefer not to…

  5. Betty Seed Woellner on April 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Such an amazing historic investigation I can’t imagine leaving before its resolved. Its not too far fetched that it could be dangerous. Always more questions.

  6. Gus Smith on April 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Sure, it makes a lot of sense for an Acting Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice to resign from perhaps the most federal important investigation in 50 years, The other shoe will surely drop.

  7. Sharon Jiardini on April 22, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Trump keeps getting rid of those able to contribute to his demise as president while he keeps making millions and filling the Swamp. He must be stopped. He must be made to release the tax returns. He is laughing at America!

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