Brian Beutler has a rather alarmist take on the seemingly inevitable constitutional crisis:
Should Trump fire Mueller, with the tacit assent of Republicans in Congress and the DOJ leadership, there will be little recourse. It is feasible (though difficult) to imagine a GOP House and Senate passing an independent counsel statute to restore Mueller to his job; it is nearly impossible to imagine them doing so by veto-proof margins. And should Trump pardon himself and his inner circle, it is dispiritingly easy to imagine Republicans reprising their familiar refrain: The president’s power to pardon is beyond question.
If this crisis unfolds as depicted here, the country’s final hope for avoiding a terminal slide into authoritarianism would be the midterm election, contesting control of a historically gerrymandered House of Representatives. That election is 16 months away. Between now and then, Trump’s DOJ and his sham election-integrity commission will seek to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as possible, while the president himself beseeches further foreign interference aimed at Democratic candidates. Absent the necessary sweep, everything Trump will have done to degrade our system for his own enrichment and protection will have been ratified, and a point of no return will have been crossed.
I’m with Beutler up to a point, but I don’t think that foreign interference and disenfranchisement will have that much effect and that Democrats will retake the House if Trump fires Mueller and pardons everybody.
Here’s some questions I’d like to hear people’s take on, along with my answers to them. Some are recreational!
Will Trump fire Mueller? (Yes)
When? (Sometime in August)
Will some Republicans in Congress speak out? (Yes)
Will Congress impeach? (No)
Will Congress appoint a new prosecutor? (No)
Does Alan Dershowitz keep defending Trump? (Yes)
Does Glenn Greenwald keep defending Trump? (Yes)
Does Jonathan Turley keep defending Trump? (No)
Will we have more or less legitimate elections in 2018? (Yes)
Will Democrats take the House? (Yes)
Will Democrats take the Senate? (No)
Will our system of government survive? (Yes)