Friday, June 07, 2019

"Never Send A Marine To Do A Hit Man's Job"

Like any would-be fascist, Donald Trump can sense weakness.On Monday, Michael Wolff, author of "Siege- Trump Under Fire," told Lawrence O'Donnell (in the first part of a two-part interview) that President Trump

thought from the beginning he could take Robert Mueller.  He says I know this guy.  I know this kind of guy.  You know, he`s too separate as I said, he said he`s got no game.

And I think he sensed that.  He sense this had as a weakness in the special prosecutor.  He sensed that he could be – you know, by saying a witch hunt, witch hunt, witch hunt, he could be the person that Robert Mueller was essentially would say, you know, this is a crazy man and how to predict what a crazy man will do.  And that`s a scary thing.

Asked by O'Donnell about Steve Bannon, Wolff replies

And he says never send a marine to do a hit man`s job.  I think he sees this as Steve understood, you know, Robert Mueller is there as to – as an institutional guy to protect an institution.  And Donald Trump is perfectly willing to destroy an institution.

Robert Mueller played right into the President's game. The next evening, Ari Melber reported that according to "Siege," the Special Counsel's office had investigated whether the President could directly (as well as indirectly) fire the Special Counsel and whether he could dismiss the Special Counsel if the purpose were to impede an investigation. The staff concluded that the President could do either or both.

Wolff had told O'Donnell

What happens to the work product they ask if they are fired?  Well, the chances that it could be – the possibility is it could be completely destroyed.

They go through one of these one after another of these contingencies, nothing with a positive result.  And one of the things that I think happened here or one of the things that I feel might well have happened here is Robert Mueller looked at this and said, you know, this guy, Donald Trump could bring the house down,  could bring the temple down.

Describing the Special Counsel as an institutionalist concerned with the house burning down is fairly generous. The intrepid, courageous Marine was intimidated by a President who realized that was his only way to head off a report that would lead to removal from office, if not prosecution. As Elie Mystal explained to Melber

It's like the old Mike Tyson thing, where he would win the fight before he got into the ring because people were scared of him. Mueller- and I think this gets to this institutionalist aspect of Mueller's investigation- he was more concerned with the institution, with his own part of the store, than he was with the rest of the house burning down.

 Mystal noted that Mueller had forgotten the advice traditionally given to football players by their coaches: "stop worrying about what they're going to do to you and start worrying about what you're going to do to them." Instead, Robert Mueller was cowed by a President who knew only intimidation of the Special Counsel stood between him and report which would lead to his removal from office and/or prosecution. "Mueller," Melber recognized, "clearly played the game not to lose." In so doing, he made sure Donald Trump would win, and the suspicion grows that that was no accident.

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