I had missed this. But TPM Reader DB flagged it to my attention. It comes from a Howard Fineman piece from last week …
“I think he’s been convinced that firing Mueller would not only create a firestorm, it would play right into Mueller’s hands,” said another friend, “because it would give Mueller the moral high ground.”
Instead, as is now becoming plain, the Trump strategy is to discredit the investigation and the FBI without officially removing the leadership. Trump is even talking to friends about the possibility of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting Mueller and his team.
“Here’s how it would work: ‘We’re sorry, Mr. Mueller, you won’t be able to run the federal grand jury today because he has to go testify to another federal grand jury,'” said one Trump adviser.
From one perspective this is just another blast of nonsense one or more of Trump’s friend have goosed him up on. But if there’s one pattern we’ve seen repeatedly over the last year it’s that ideas that begin as nonsensical ravings or Fox News talking points are rapidly embraced as White House policy and later get buy-in from congressional Republicans. It’s not some occasional reality. It’s almost the norm.
In a sense, we’ve already heard this. A lot. The idea of creating another Special Counsel to investigate the Russia probe itself is just that. After all, Special Counsels investigate crimes. That’s the whole premise to this ‘second Special Counsel’ push, that the investigators have committed crimes and must be prosecuted. It’s the same thing. So I’m not sure we should feel that we’re relying on Fineman’s reporting. We’ve heard this repeatedly. He’s just focusing our attention on what it actually means.