Special Counsel Robert Mueller has undertaken a secretive, sprawling investigation into Donald Trump, his family business, and his campaign allies. Trump continues to deploy a series of unethical, and at times illegal maneuvers to derail or curtail the steady stream of indictments that draw ever closer to his inner circle — including the panicked 71-year old man he sees in the mirror. Yet for all the missteps Trump has made or will make, this week’s errors are immense.
The firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the impending firing of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster hold the key to solving a mystery that had been locked away. What really happened during Trump’s phone conversations and face-to-face meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin? What about the infamous meeting in the Oval Office with the Russian Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the United States soon after the firing of FBI Director James Comey? In each instance, we’ve either learned about their interactions from the mischief-making Kremlin, or gotten suspiciously scant details from the White House.
Tillerson and McMaster are arguably in the best position of anyone to know the truth about what’s really gone down between Trump and Putin since Trump has taken office. Either they were active participants, were shooed away at very sensitive moments, or were purposefully excluded, but they know important details about what occurred. Therefore Mueller seems likely to ask for interviews with Tillerson and McMaster.
For both men, this represents a chance for some patriotic vengeance against a president they despise, and who has publicly humiliated them with carefully-couched comments or strategic leaks to media outlets. Now that Rex Tillerson is unemployed, he’s free to spill the beans. If H.R. McMaster indeed follows him out the door, Robert Mueller will get two witnesses against Donald Trump for the price of one.
J.H. Norton is a communications professional, life-long Democrat, and married father of two boys living in Washington, D.C.