President Trump’s 2020 campaign manager tweeted Tuesday that Trump should fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and “end the Mueller investigation.”
Brad Parscale — who was the digital director for Trump’s 2016 campaign and is in charge of the reelection bid — wrote that because of the recent inspector general report, Trump should “end it all.”
Time to fire Sessions— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 19, 2018
End the Mueller investigation
You can’t obstruct something that was phony against you
The IG report gives @realDonaldTrump the truth to end it all.
An attempt by the president to end the investigation into himself, his family members, and his associates for potential collusion with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election would throw the country into an enormous constitutional crisis, were it to happen.
It seems unlikely that Parscale would have floated this idea unless he believed it was something his boss, President Trump, would want him to do.
Indeed, Trump has been furious with Sessions since the AG recused himself from oversight of the Russia probe in March 2017, and has wanted him gone from the Justice Department since at least July 2017. (A new attorney general would not necessarily recuse himself or herself from oversight of the Mueller investigation and could theoretically rein it in or shut it down completely.)
However, it is unclear whether this is a prelude to actual new action by Trump against Sessions. Trump has reportedly often encouraged his allies to harshly criticize Justice Department officials like Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Robert Mueller in the media — trying to weaken them in the court of public opinion while refraining from actually firing them so far.
The inspector general report Parscale cites isn’t actually about the Russia investigation (or Sessions) at all. Instead, it focused on the Justice Department and FBI’s handling of the Clinton email case. However, the IG’s probe brought anti-Trump texts from two FBI officials who had formerly worked on the Russia probe to light. It also criticizes then-FBI Director James Comey’s choices in the Clinton case, and Trump’s allies claim this vindicates Trump’s choice to fire Comey.
It’s a high-stakes moment for the Mueller probe. Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort was recently thrown in jail to await trial. Trump has also been alarmed by a separate FBI investigation into his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, and there are rumors that Cohen might try to cut a plea deal. Discussions over whether Trump will agree to be interviewed by Mueller’s team are still continuing too.
Separately, Sessions is under fire for his role in the Trump administration’s separation of families at the US-Mexico border. But Trump has continued to defend his administration’s handling of the issue despite intense public criticism of more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents in recent months. As Parscale freely admits, the real reason Trump would want Sessions gone is the Russia probe.