What, you thought Special Counsel Robert Mueller was just going to sit back and risk the possibility that Donald Trump might try to fire him? Mueller dropped a bomb on Trump’s entire team on Saturday night, and he did it in public. It came largely in the form of a warning: back off or you’re all immediately going down, because I have far more dirt on all of you than you know. Less than an hour later, the Trump team indeed predictably flinched in equally public fashion.
It all began around around 5pm on Saturday when Axios reported that Mueller has been sitting on fifty thousand emails from the Trump transition team all along (link). Mueller had kept this a secret, and had tricked Trump’s people into a false sense of security by requesting copies of the emails that he already had. Trump’s people only turned over the non-incriminating emails, and thought they were covered. This means he has a whole lot of people nailed for various crimes. If Trump tries to make a move, Mueller can begin arresting them all before Trump can complete the complicated process of trying to fire him.
Mueller was sending a message that if Trump tried to get him fired, he would immediately make a move on everyone involved in those emails. In the process, Mueller was also hinting that he’s been sitting on incriminating evidence against pretty much everyone involved, likely including Trump’s current White House advisers. It was a tacit demand that Trump’s people find a way to make sure he doesn’t fire Mueller. As Palmer Report explained at the time (link), this move left Trump’s team with only one option: back down, and quickly.
Sure enough, less than an hour later, Donald Trump’s team made an announcement that Trump has no intention of firing Robert Mueller, according to a CNN report (link). This reads like a clear attempt on the part of Trump’s team to signal to Mueller that they can indeed keep Trump under control, and that there’s no need for Mueller to release the proverbial kraken on them. If Trump and his people do end up making any further threatening gestures in Mueller’s direction, look for even more leaks about the other aces Mueller has up his sleeve. He’ll keep taking increasingly damaging warning shots until they back down and let him do his job.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report