By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –
1. Preet Bharara, former US attorney for Manhattan, says that after the election Trump called him several times and seemed to be attempting to cultivate him in an unorthodox way. Bharara had jurisdiction over Trump Tower and business deals in Manhattan. Although he was told by Trump he could keep his job, his resignation was demanded along with that of all the US district attorneys appointed in the Obama era. When Bharara declined, he was fired.
2. Sally Yates, acting Attorney General, flagged to White House counsel that then National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had in fact interacted with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in ways that he denied, and that his public dishonesty on this issue opened him to being blackmailed by the Russians. She was fired after she declined to implement Trump’s Muslim ban, on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, but many observers think that her focus on Flynn was part of the reason for her dismissal.
3. Trump asked James Comey, then the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to drop the investigation of Mike Flynn, his first National Security Adviser, who stands accused of not reporting money he took from Russia and Turkey.
4. When Comey did not drop the Flynn investigation, Trump fired Comey.
5. Trump is angry at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the US Election. Because Sessions recused himself, the decision of whether to appoint a special prosecutor fell to deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, a career civil servant rather than a Trump insider.
6. Now there is buzz that Trump wants to fire the special prosecutor appointed by Rosenstein, former FBI director Robert Mueller. Mueller’s charge is to investigate Russian tampering with the 2016 election. The wording of the congressional law on special prosecutors requires that Trump ask Rosenstein to do the firing.
Somehow these high-powered investigators who have looking into Trump part of their remit all seem to end up in the unemployment line…
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