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A stone in Trump’s shoe

A stone in Trump’s shoe

A stone in Trump’s shoe
September 27
11:31 2018

Jesus Sánchez Meleán

President Trump might be getting ready for some fresh firings at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI. He publicly confessed not too long ago in Missouri that a new shake off is in the works in the area lead by Jeff Sessions. Since he arrived in power, all these people have been removed from their posts: Sally Yates, former Deputy Attorney General; James Comey, Andrew McCabe y Peter Strzok, director, deputy director and agent of the FBI, respectively.

He has not disclosed a list of names for the upcoming firing; but there are three names in particular that he would love to remove from the DOJ’s payroll. He has dedicated at least a dozen twits to criticize the performance of Jeff Sessions, Attorney General. He hasn’t been too nice either to Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General and Robert Muller, special investigator in charge of investigating the Russian meddling on the election.

Rosenstein is the name that most likely will head the list of the new wave of firings. According to the New York Times (NYT), Rosenstein had proposed in 2017 to gather support from government officials to trigger the process of destitution of the president, according to the 25th Amendment. The Deputy Attorney General issued a press release after the report was published, where he states that such information is “imprecise” and “incorrect.”

That piece by the NYT unleashed the wrath of Trump and drove him to say “real bad ones are all gone. They’re all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that too.” Trump didn’t mention Rosenstein by name, but the hint was quite clear. This time, Trump didn’t attack the NYT for relying on an anonymous source. This time the NYT was useful to Trump and helped him discredit Rosenstein.

The Deputy Attorney General is a stone in Trump’s shoe. Rosenstein is responsible to oversee the special investigation on the Russia case. This official was in charge of the investigation after Sessions recused himself from the investigation, due to his participation in Trump’s political campaign. Rosenstein is who appointed Mueller, as a special prosecutor in the case. And Rosenstein is the only one that could fire Mueller and end the investigation.

Any information that compromises Rosenstein’s credibility favors Trump. The Deputy Attorney General didn’t seem too convinced to end the Mueller investigation, and even worse for Trump, the results of the investigation would be on Rosenstein’s hands once Mueller finishes his job. Rosenstein would close the investigation if there is no evidence that a crime has been committed. But, Mueller’s report could get to Congress, if Rosenstein makes that decision. He can also decide if there were ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. He could also act on a presumable obstruction of justice. He could send the investigation to Congress to initiate a process of impeachment. He also has the option to ask a grand jury to decide if the president and others should be charged with crimes.

Rosenstein could also press charges against Trump or indict him before a grand jury. This is the most radical action he might engage. Given his attributions, many analysts believe this prosecutor only has about 45 more days in his job. It is very likely that Trump will fire Rosenstein immediately after the midterm election. The president needs a new Deputy Attorney General who will order the firing of Mueller and the closing of the Russia-gate.

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Edición Virtual | #332 | 14 de Febrero 2019

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