Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is now in mortal peril.
You know those signs that say In case of emergency, break glass?
This is that emergency.
President Donald Trump will reportedly soon fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who has most directly protected the independence of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump’s efforts to compromise that inquiry mean that Rosenstein’s position has been in peril for some time, but a report last week in The New York Times that Rosenstein had suggested wiretapping the president—potentially sarcastically—made it likely that Trump would seek to push Rosenstein out.
If the president can browbeat Rosenstein into resigning—or even plausibly misrepresent the firing as a resignation—Trump gains the power to bypass the Senate confirmation process under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. He can replace Rosenstein with any serving official previously confirmed by the Senate to any other job.