I’ve been in a bunker made out of awards-season coverage and the Australian Open for the past two weeks, so I really haven’t been watching the news that much. There was a lull in both tennis and red carpet stuff last night, so I checked in on Chris Hayes. There was the comforting ol’ “Breaking News” banner. The breaking news? Donald Trump ordered the firing of Robert Mueller back in June 2017, only White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit if Trump went through with it:
Everyone can stop wondering when President Trump will try to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, because it appears that already happened last summer. Four sources tell the New York Times that Trump ordered Muller’s firing in June, amid reports that the special counsel was looking into whether he attempted to obstruct justice. However, Trump backed down after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit.
When McGahn received Trump’s order, he reportedly refused to ask the Justice Department to dismiss Mueller. The special counsel can only be removed for cause, and McGahn didn’t find the case Trump laid out very convincing. Per the Times: “First, [Trump] claimed that a dispute years ago over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., had prompted Mr. Mueller, the F.B.I. director at the time, to resign his membership. The president also said Mr. Mueller could not be impartial because he had most recently worked for the law firm that previously represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Finally, the president said, Mr. Mueller had been interviewed to return as the F.B.I. director the day before he was appointed special counsel in May.”