Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) delivered a speech today, slamming President Trump for his remarks about the FBI raid on his lawyer’s office. Michael Cohen’s office, residence, and hotel room were the subjects of a search by federal agents yesterday, which Trump responded to by saying it was a “disgrace” and an attack on the nation. Schumer noted that the key players in the investigation into possible collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are Republicans. Mueller, FBI Director Chris Wray, Rod Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York are all Republicans, some appointed by Trump. Schumer is obviously trying to undercut the notion that this is a DOJ witch-hunt.
“Mr. President, your comments were the disgrace,” said the New York Democrat. As for firing Mueller over this raid, “Don’t even think about it,” added Schumer. It’s been reported that the raid itself is not part of the Mueller probe, but merely information that was allegedly uncovered by DOJ investigators who then forwarded it onto federal authorities in New York. Cohen is under investigation for bank fraud and FEC violations stemming from payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleges a tryst with the president back in 2006.
In closing, Schumer said that legislation might be needed to protect Mueller from being fired without cause. Several bipartisan bills to do just that are reportedly in the pipeline. Congress must do this, according to Schumer, to defend the rule of law and ensure the institutions established to check presidential power are maintained.
While Democrats grossly overstate the Trump threat to Democracy, Schumer is not totally off his rocker for making this speech. Not that I support Schumer or agree with him; I don’t, but the fact that Trump said “we’ll see” concerning whether he’ll fire Mueller should raise eyebrows. With ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Steve Bannon, those words were uttered before they were fired. It might not have been within the week or even weeks, but eventually both men got the boot. Maybe Schumer knows this as well—that Trump won’t fire Mueller. But it affords him some time to bash Trump for supposedly orchestrating this covert attempt to destroy American democracy—a more polished speech fraught with Resistance overtones.