What else do you think #ReleasetheMemo is about?
The New York Times scoop that Donald Trump ordered special counsel Robert Mueller fired in June of last year is interesting for obvious reasons. It was confirmed by contemporaneous reporting and suggests that Trump was told by the White House counsel that firing Mueller would at least be seen as another attempt to obstruct justice. And the story suggests Trump hasn’t stopped considering his own Saturday Night Massacre, but probably during the week because weekends are for collecting bribes at his businesses.
But there’s something even more important about this scoop.
“What’s interesting is why someone is talking about this at this point, and why is it emerging now?” John Q. Barrett, a former associate special counsel in the Iran-Contra affair, said to The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer.
At the risk of sounding like a Blue Detective, I’m going to posit that the answer for why this is coming out now is pretty simple: Someone is trying to warn us.
For weeks now, conservatives, with the apparent help of Russian trolls, have been demanding that a “shocking” memo written Devin Nunes, the once “recused” chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and member of the Trump transition team, be released. Trump could declassify it and release it any time. But the point isn’t to spread the bogus and trumped up smears in the document but to rally the right around the case that it will prove that the FBI is biased against Trump and the Mueller investigation is thus “fruit of a poison tree.”
Back before he was turned by Trump’s willingness to bomb civilians and tempt nuclear wars, Senator Lindsey Graham said, “Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong.”
The president can fire anyone, as long as he’s not doing so to break the law.
There’s no evidence Mueller has done anything wrong in this investigation to merit dismissal, even The Intercept agrees. So Nunes decided to invent something by creating a new genre of anti-fan fiction
Once the memo is public and its “facts” hold equal weight to what the Mueller investigation has found, at least to Fox News viewers, Trump can act shocked and fire Mueller with the support of the 34 percent of America who would give up anything for him and the hope that he’ll be able to distract his way out the mess he created, the way he has his whole life.
Someone, probably the guy who refused to fire Mueller last year, is trying to let us know that this isn’t just a possibility but an inevitability. Unless Thursday’s scoop, which Trump half-heartedly denied, changed history.
Regardless, we should be ready for the inevitable.