Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). An idealist who believes the American Experiment will succeed. I tweet about the law, books, politics, and history. Sep. 27, 2018 3 min read

(Thread) Will Trump fire Rosenstein?

If Trump starts firing people to shut down the probe, it will be a disaster—for Trump.

Spoiler: I suspect his advisors have figured that out, and they're pursuing a smarter strategy.

Here’s what I mean:

2/ If Trump tries to shut down the probe & Dems win control of the House after the midterms, Congress simply appoints an independent prosecutor. [They'd probably appoint Mueller!]

That’s how we got Kenneth Starr.

Independent prosecutors have more power than special prosecutors.

3/ A special prosecutor would be under congressional oversight, so out of Trump’s reach. Mueller, in contrast, is in the executive branch.

As with firing Comey, Trump could end up in worse shape.

Or Congress could appoint a committee, like with Watergate (also worse for Trump)

4/ So we have Reason #1: Fear that Congress will appoint an independent counsel or committee.

Now on to Reason #2.

Right now, we’re in a slow motion constitutional crisis.

(If you don't know what I mean, see👇
)

5/ “If it happens here,” said law prof. David Strauss (in👇) “it won’t happen all at once. A large, diverse society with democratic traditions . . . is unlikely to become an autocracy overnight. The more plausible scenario is a gradual erosion of liberal democratic norms.”

6/ From Snyder: Generally democratic norms are eroded so gradually that most people don’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

Most Americans are oblivious to the fact that we’re in the midsts of an actual fascist takeover and we’re tilting toward a regime change.

7/ Firing Rosenstein would create a “fire on Fort Sumter” moment.

We would go from being in a slow-motion constitutional crisis to being in an acute one.

Even the most apathetic citizens would see that Trump is indeed trying to make himself a dictator—

8/ —which is the word for a person above the law.

So Reason #2 is: Firing Rosenstein will make it harder for Trump to make himself a Putin-style dictator by creating an acute crisis which will wake up the apathetic & make it easier for the opposition to mobilize.

9/ Reason #3: If Trump were to start firing people now, before the midterms, the election would become a referendum on whether Trump is above the law. (Most Americans want the probe to continue.)

This is not what the GOP wants the election to be about.

10/ They want this to be a cultural war: Vote for the GOP to keep America safe from liberal snowflakes!

Consider how much has changed from the time older men of the GOP were young men. Conservatives are uncomfortable with rapid change. (What do I mean?👇
)

11/ They figure lots of conservatives are willing to overlook a few federal felonies to go back to the “good old days.”

Those conservatives might not be as comfortable if it’s not just a few felonies—it’s entirely destroy rule of law.

12/ Now on to Reason #4: The investigation is too far along. The genie can’t go back into the bottle.

@AshaRangappa_ explained that even if Rosenstein were to be replaced by a Trump-friendly boss, the new boss would have a hard time boxing in Mueller at this point. . .

13/ The regs allow Mueller to be stopped by his boss only if “a particular step is inappropriate or unwarranted”

This is would be difficult for any new boss, given how much evidence Mueller already amassed & Mueller’s experience and expertise👇

14/ Besides, all that evidence Mueller has collected is in files. Making all that evidence disappear would be impossible.

Evidence can be handed off to state or federal prosecutors, or Congress (someone will leak it).
The SDNY has the Cohen evidence.

15/ IOW, the evidence will come out one way or another.

Trump (& his advisors) have a smarter strategy: Undermine the legitimacy of the probe, persuade followers that the evidence obtained by Mueller is false & lead us into a post-truth world in which jury verdicts don’t matter.

16/ You can stop here.

Or, if you’re new to my feed and you’re thinking, “What the heck is she talking about with post-truth worlds and undermining the legitimacy of the probe?” see this for an explanation 👇


You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.



Bookmark

____
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.