All along, Donald Trump has been losing cabinet members and top advisers to one scandal and controversy after another. Last week Trump lost his Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta for the most scandalous of reasons: Acosta was the one who initially let Trump’s friend Jeffrey Epstein off the hook. Now Trump may be on the verge of losing yet another cabinet member, for a very different kind of reason.
It all started over the weekend when NBC News reported that Donald Trump was considering dumping his Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, due to the Trump regime’s ugly swing and miss on the 2020 census. NBC said that Trump could force Ross out now, but that because Acosta just left the building, Trump might wait until sometime this summer to shove Ross out the door. Then yesterday things took an interesting turn.
House Democrats formally held Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr in criminal contempt yesterday, after they refused to cooperate in the investigation into the Trump census scandal. This means the Democrats can now ask the court to order Barr and Ross to testify about the scandal, under threat of being thrown in jail by the court. It’ll take some time for this legal process to play out, and in the meantime it’s not clear how it’ll play out in the court of public opinion.
If the criminal contempt citation does become the kind of scandal that Donald Trump feels he needs to make go away, his only real course of action would be to force one of these two guys to resign. It won’t be William Barr, because Trump needs him too much – so it would be Wilbur Ross. Of course getting fired could motivate Ross to be more cooperative with the House, in order to protect himself as opposed to protecting Trump. But Trump has often tried to make scandals go away by ditching his own loyal people, prompting them to testify against him, so if he does it to Ross, it would be nothing new.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report