To those paying close attention, it’s fairly clear the Republicans in Congress aren’t actually trying to get rid of Special Counsel Robert Mueller; they know it would backfire on them far too spectacularly. Instead they’re feverishly trying to taint Mueller’s investigation, so by the time he provides proof that Trump is guilty as sin, they can push back against it in the court of public opinion. Their plan is fairly transparent, and it all centers around what took place on December 12th.
By all accounts, December 12th is the day Donald Trump’s attorneys finally figured out that Robert Mueller had secretly been in possession of the Trump transition team emails since August (link). Mueller got the emails simply by asking the General Services Administration to turn them over, as they had been hosted by the GSA. Guess what else happened on that same day?
December 12th is also the day the Republican-controlled Senate suddenly decided that it needed to finally get around to confirming Trump nominee Emily Murphy as the new head of the GSA (link). Now the Republicans in the Senate are promptly asking Murphy to help them in building the false argument that Mueller somehow acted improperly by asking for the emails (link). It’s not difficult to see what appears to be transpiring here.
Donald Trump’s attorneys learned on December 12th that Robert Mueller had gotten the emails from the GSA. Unless you believe in nearly impossible coincidences, Trump’s attorneys immediately told the Republicans in Congress about it, and who in turn decided to immediately confirm Trump’s own long-delayed pick to lead the GSA, so they could begin asking that pick to help them frame Mueller. We don’t know that Emily Murphy will necessarily be willing to do anything unethical on behalf of the GOP and Trump; perhaps she’ll refuse. Trump has guessed wildly wrong about the ethics of his nominees before. But based on the timing, it’s obvious that Trump and the GOP are hoping she’ll be willing to function as a plant at the GSA who’s willing to do their bidding.
Again, there is no logical reason to believe that the GOP is actually trying to get Mueller fired. If that was their goal, they’d be doing it behind the scenes instead of publicly marrying themselves to something so unpopular that’ll blow back on them so spectacularly in the midterms. Instead they’re trying to sabotage Mueller’s credibility in order to please Trump’s base, so they don’t get sabotaged in the midterms by the other side. But there is no longer any question of just how underhanded the GOP is willing to be in the name of smearing Mueller – and they appear to have just gotten caught red handed unethically conspiring with Trump’s lawyers.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report