This is the question on everybody’s mind right now, and one that is often asked with it, how come now? It appears that the Trump folks just figured out that Mueller is in possession of all the emails that the Trump people produced as part of their transition team on a government server. The fact is that Mueller was entitled as a matter of law to these emails, though FOX news would have you believe otherwise.
A lawyer for the transition team has sent a letter to both houses of congress protesting this invasion of their privacy and privilege. The problem with this complaint is that anyone using this account received a warning, standard to all federal government computers, that there was no privacy in the communications and that they would be handed over to sanctioned law enforcement investigations. Mueller’s is obviously sanctioned.
Trump and friends thought they had put up a defensive wall to hide their transition emails by appointing an associate from Rudy Giuliani’s law firm as head of the General Services Administration, the keeper of all this material. His name was Richard Backler whose main claim to fame was that he was good defense attorney for white collar criminals. He apparently told the transition team that he would bury the emails where none could find them. This can be neither confirmed or denied because Mr. Backler left work in early August, and died of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in September.
Mueller had no obligation to notify anyone of his receipt of these emails, and he was entitled to them as a matter of law. He had them before he interviewed anyone closely connected with the president. What may have looked like good guesses to Kushner et al. were in fact based on his knowledge from the emails.
Trump is allegedly ballistic over the failure of his plan to keep these emails quiet. Can’t imagine why, but the irony is perfect. Given his harping on Hillary’s emails throughout the campaign with cries to “lock her up!” isn’t it a form of justice if he is taken down by his own team’s totally open emails through the federal system?
So now, Trump’s only out is stop Mueller anyway he can. He cannot directly fire Mueller, but can order Rosenstein, the guy acting as AG for supervision of Mueller’s investigation, to fire Mueller. For those of the older generation, we saw this play out with our old favorite nemesis, Richard Nixon, in the Saturday Night Massacre. Nixon ordered a number of assistant AGs to fire Archibald Cox, and had to go through several until he found Robert Bork who was willing to do the deed. This is where Trump now finds himself.
The problem as I see it is that Mueller probably has enough information now to indict anyone he wants to in the campaign, up to and including the president. These emails are priceless in showing the inner workings of the campaign and the involvement of so many key players with the Russians. Even if Mueller is fired, is there a way to get the information to an incorruptible source, such as New York’s Attorney General, Schneiderman, who has already shown a willingness to pursue the various players in this scheme? From what I have read and my knowledge of the law, I suspect that there is the making for a very big RICO case out of this, which would involve lengthy jail terms for anyone convicted.
Those of us who believe that Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation ought to be prepared to act in the case of his firing. I agree with those who believe it will happen when Congress is away for the holidays, meaning between about the 20th of December and the 5th of January. I’m not a big fan of Move-On, but they have set up a Mueller Firing Rapid Response plan with events planned in, as of last count, 49 states. If you are interested in joining this massive movement, you can find the link here and sign up for your local action. We must be strong if we want our democracy to survive!