The president’s attempted ouster of Mr. Mueller seems plainly to have been intended to squelch Mr. Mueller’s investigation. Moreover, Mr. Trump’s attempts to conceal the obvious with a rank, virtually comical explanation provide additional evidence of guilty intent.
Mr. Mueller, the president argued, could not serve because, years before, he had resigned his membership at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia because of a dispute over fees; or he needed to be fired because he had worked at the law firm that previously represented Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Why strain to concoct such feeble rationales unless the truth is indefensible?
.. The threat to resign carries with it the possible implication that he saw more: a crime, even a continuing conspiracy, that he wanted to distance both Mr. Trump and himself from.
.. It’s also consistent with the Washington tradition of self-serving conduct with an eye toward ensuring that you don’t go down with the ship.
.. Mr. McGahn’s pushback starts to look like a John Dean moment in the Trump administration: the juncture when actors in the White House, including the White House counsel, began to realize that there is, in Mr. Dean’s famous phrase, “a cancer on the presidency.”
.. And they know that there is more to come, beginning with Steve Bannon’s interview with the special counsel.
.. The events it details happened over six months ago but are only now coming to light. For whose benefit? The Times report is sourced to four people
.. Some number of people in the know have decided, perhaps in concert, to drop a bombshell now, one they kept to themselves for many months.
.. Perhaps from their insiders’ perches, they see that Mr. Mueller is wrapping up a case of obstruction that the president probably cannot defend against, because he is guilty. And perhaps they are jockeying to position themselves favorably, in the belief that Mr. Trump may be impeached (if not removed from office) and that there will be a broad reckoning,
.. he has every reason to think as he looks around him that his staff is wondering who will be next to go — by discharge or criminal charge — and there is nobody whose loyalty he can be sure of