Poor Donald Trump. He keeps looking for the second coming of Roy Cohn. “Where are my killers? I need a killer,” he has been heard to bemoan. Jeff Sessions absolutely was not his killer. Sessions was a vast disappointment. Then Trump was going to hire lawyer and Fox talking head Joe diGenova, and that didn’t pan out. Trump didn’t like him when he met him. No killer there. Then Trump caught wind of an interview Matthew Whitaker gave on CNN disparaging the Mueller probe, and voila! A killer was born! Found, in any event! And now that might all go to hell as well.
JUST IN: DOJ says Acting Attorney General Whitaker will consult with senior ethics officials at DOJ about possible recusal in Special Counsel investigation. DOJ Spox Kerri Kupec says, pic.twitter.com/19ej569Ne2
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) November 13, 2018
On Sunday Adam Schiff said this on Meet the Press.
“The facts for recusal are very strong here. This is someone who has made repeated and prejudicial statements against the investigation and who has made false statements about it, claiming that the Russians really had no impact on our election. And [he’s] someone who has an important relationship with one of the witnesses in the investigation. And I want to say this: we have every right to expect all of the employees of the Justice Department to follow ethics rules and that means especially the Attorney General. But I want to make this very clear. If he doesn’t recuse himself, if he has any involvement whatsoever in this Russia probe, we are going to find out whether he made commitments to the president about the probe, whether he is serving as a back channel to the president or his lawyers about the probe, Mr. Whittaker needs to understand that he will be called to answer and any role that he plays will be exposed to the public. We don’t want there to be any ambiguity about that.”
It looks like Matt Whitaker could find himself between a rock and a hard place, with a choice of recusing himself, or facing charges for obstruction of justice if he sticks around and does Trump’s bidding. Trump demonized Sessions for following the law rather than figuring out a way to circumvent it, which is what Trump means by “killer.” At this point, it doesn’t look like Whitaker is going to fare much better than Sessions insofar as saving Trump is concerned. Whitaker is looking more and more like a flash in the pan than a killer. Whitaker appears to be boxed into recusing, and when Trump hears about it on Fox News, he’ll blow a gasket. Watch out White House TV sets and coffee pots, Donnie’s about to throw a yuuuuge tantrum. He might even tear out his remaining few strands of hair.