In case you took a nice long weekend in a cave somewhere and are just now returning to civilization, Donald Trump went ballistics after the FBI raiding attorney Michael Cohen’s home and office, characterizing it as a “break in” and “attack on our country” and that was before he really lost it. Today, Trump has been described as “stunned” and “livid” by the fact that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein personally approved the move to seek a search warrant for Cohen’s records. Trump started out Tuesday morning screaming “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!” in all caps on twitter and cancelling a long awaited trip to South America. A GOP operative close to the White House told Politico:
“The all caps tweet, that’s the primal scream. That’s the war cry.”
“He’s losing his shit,” the operative added. “We’re at a different level now.”
Amid the furor, the White House announced earlier Tuesday that Trump would skip an upcoming trip to Latin America and instead stay in Washington. Trump’s decision to scrap this weekend’s long-planned travel to the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, will leave the president largely alone in the White House with little on his schedule, giving him time to stew and watch cable news.
Angry and increasingly isolated, the president is more unpredictable than ever, according to four people close to him.
These people worry that Trump – who has lost several key advisers in recent months, including former staff secretary Rob Porter, personal aide Johnny McEntee, and communications director Hope Hicks — may make a snap decision to fire senior Justice Department officials who he blames for Monday’s raid on Cohen’s office and apartment of his personal lawyer.
Meanwhile, Trump took a more direct swipe than usual at Mueller Monday night, slouched in his chair hugging himself, which was followed by Sarah Huckabee Sanders stating that Trump believed that he had the right to fire Mueller. So are the Republicans circling the wagons to protect the Mueller investigation or what?
If Trump fires either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would not rule out calls for impeaching the president. But he urged Republicans to head off such a crisis by protecting Mueller now.
Grassley pointedly nudged Trump to stop entertaining a Mueller termination on Tuesday, telling Fox Business Network that “it would be suicide for the president to want to talk about firing” the special counsel. But Grassley has not taken a firm position on the Mueller protection bills pending before his committee, saying there may be constitutional concerns with the legislation. […]
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) is pressing for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up his legislation aimed at insulating Mueller from any attempt to fire him. Tillis is in discussions with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) about merging two separate Mueller protection bills and then persuading Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to pass them. […]
A Tillis and Coons bill would allow special counsels to challenge their firing after the fact, while a competing proposal from Graham and Booker would provide judicial review before any special counsel could be axed. The trick is merging the measures in a way that Grassley would be inclined to take them up. He dismissed questions from reporters on Tuesday.
“We’ve been trying to marry the bills for some time, and we’ve made some progress in our communications among senators,” Booker said in an interview. But Booker made clear that even if the Judiciary Committee can reach a bipartisan agreement, the same obstacle remains: “[W]ill we get McConnell to put it on the floor? That’s the real question.”
It’s worth noting that in the past when Trump has lashed out against the Mueller investigation the White House has followed up immediately with soothing statements. It has not done so this time. Meanwhile, Trump, bereft of advisers and confidants, puts through calls to Sean Hannity, Jeannine Pirro and Lou Dobbs; governance by infotainment. Thomas Jefferson said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.” Wonder what he would have thought about un-government, practiced by those with a SAG card and a teleprompter? Is this what we have standing between us and a constitutional crisis, Trump’s Fox News co-stars?