Special Counsel Robert Mueller is perhaps the most feared person whom President Donald Trump wishes he could fire. But unlike the sacking of FBI Director James Comey, it would not be so easy to axe Mueller – both legally and politically. There was a reason why the position carries the “Special Counsel” title.
A special counsel “may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General”. But in the case of Mr. Mueller, he was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation. Therefore, only Mr. Rosenstein could fire Mr. Mueller.
That’s why Trump was so bloody mad with Mr. Sessions. Trump has zero control over Rosenstein. Even if the Deputy A.G. wanted to fire the special counsel he appointed, he can’t. Special Counsel Mueller can only be removed “for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.”
So far, Deputy A.G. Rosenstein has testified that while he alone exercises the firing authority, he had not seen any evidence of good cause for firing Mueller. In a way, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now more powerful than President Donald Trump. It must be really annoying to Trump, who used to fire whoever he likes in his TV show – The Apprentice.
In other words, Trump could not fire Mueller – a former FBI director – directly but the U.S. president certainly can fire Deputy A.G. Rosenstein. Trump could keep firing people until he found someone to follow through on an order to fire Mueller. Trump was fabulously angered that Mueller has expanded the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election to include whether Trump tried to obstruct justice.
Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, including his family’s finances and business deals. It was reported that the president had begun asking his advisers about his ability to pardon aides, associates, family members, and even himself. And the prospect of Trump abusing his power is real.
At a political rally last week, he publicly pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Heck, the president could even continuously issue pardons to anyone found guilty by Special Counsel Robert Mueller or the Supreme Court. And this could be the reason why Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is eagerly looking to shake hands and rub shoulders with President Trump.
Fears that Trump could pre-emptively protect allies from prosecution means his son-in-law Jared Kushner would be immune from prosecution of corruption. Eyebrows were raised when Trump agrees to meet Najib, whose 1MDB scandal – represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice – is in full swing.
It’s not every day that a U.S. president invites a foreign leader who has allegedly stolen more than US$4.5 billion, and worse, used the U.S. financial system to launder the dirty money. Najib, easily the planet’s biggest crook, had also allegedly involved in the gruesome murder of Mongolian model Altantuya, with whom the Malaysian Muslim leader allegedly had anal sex too.
At the centre of the 1MDB scandal, which has been classified as a “Ponzi Scheme” by the Swiss Attorney General, is the sudden change of heart by Trump administration in extending an invitation to Najib to visit the White House. He was excluded about 4 months ago in May, 2017, during which only leaders of the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were invited.
– Finance Twitter