A Saturday Night Massacre would bring a midterm mauling to GOP

Washington, D.C. is now on red alert for the potentially imminent firing by President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE and other Republicans holding high positions in the Department of Justice.

Monday’s raid targeting one of Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen, may well drive Trump to extreme actions that would be a hostile attack against the administration of justice and bring a death knell for Republicans in the midterm elections.

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Following the breaking news of the Cohen raid, Trump made hostile attacks against Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors Key GOP lawmaker throws cold water on Rosenstein impeachment With new immigration policy, Trump administration gutting the right to asylum MORE, Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinRosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors Opinion: One FBI text message in Russia probe that should alarm every American Rand Paul blocks Sanders's Russia resolution, calls it 'crazy hatred' against Trump MORE and special counsel Robert Mueller — all of whom are Republicans.

 

He demonstrated an anger and rage that could soon lead to a Nixon-like "Saturday Night Massacre" that many Republicans as well as Democrats have long feared.

Trump’s anger following the Cohen raid also includes the interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman, who spearheaded the raid and who is also a Republican. Trump appointed Berman to the position after he fired Preet BhararaPreetinder (Preet) Singh BhararaPossibility of Trump pardoning himself sparks GOP pushback Admission that Trump dictated statement on Trump Tower meeting raises new questions Bharara: Trump allies ‘clearly getting a message’ from pardons MORE

Trump’s anger is also targeted against the FBI, whose director is Christopher Wray, also a Republican and Trump appointee after Trump fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThere was nothing remotely treasonous in Trump's performance with Putin Opinion: One FBI text message in Russia probe that should alarm every American Clapper: Intel officials showed Trump evidence of Putin's role in election meddling MORE.

Last week, I wrote that Mueller will drop a series of bombshells that will plague Republicans in the midterm elections unless they stand tall to uphold the administration of justice, and I've been warning about the dangers of the Russian scandal in recent months

The bombshell of the Cohen raid was not dropped by Mueller, who merely referred the matter to the U.S. attorney in New York, who spearheaded the raid, which was approved in a warrant granted by a federal judge who concluded there is probable cause that a crime was committed and the only sure way to obtain the evidence was through the raid.

Republicans in Congress, who are already in grave jeopardy, facing potentially huge losses in the midterm elections, are well aware that the long list of targets of Trump’s anger and rage are all Republicans!  

A failure of Republicans in Congress to stand up for the administration of justice and a failure to oppose firings of Republican officials would create a death knell for GOP chances in November.

The controversy and chaos surrounding the investigations of the Russian attack against America coincide with other developments of paramount importance as the midterms approach.

The most politically powerful development is the endless series of scandals, mini-scandals and ethical failures that have surrounded the Trump presidency from its beginning.

Trump promised to drain the swamp, but the swamp is worse than ever under Trump. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittZinke left some details off public calendar: report EPA watchdog faults ‘management weaknesses’ in Flint water crisis House completes first half of 2019 spending bills MORE has become, outside of anti-environment circles, the poster boy for the swamp at its dirtiest. 

The list of cabinet members and other administration officials who have committed ethically dubious actions appears destined to grow even beyond its currently unacceptable levels.  

The Trump presidency is engulfed in chaos. Shortly after Trump announced he wanted to get out of Syria, the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad, almost certainly with support from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who Trump has until recently often praised, launched a brutal and sickening chemical weapons attack. 

Hopefully Trump will abandon his plan to get out of Syria soon and will seek and obtain bipartisan support for a strong American and Western response to the Syrian mass murder.

The chaos continues with endless leaks and background comments from administration officials seeking to humiliate retired Marine Corps General and White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE (as Trump and his inner circle humiliated former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE and former National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster) by suggesting he is now powerless to do his job. 

As the midterm elections near, the American people are exhausted and appalled by the scandals and chaos that surround the Trump presidency. There is a Trump fatigue that overwhelms the politics of the nation.

There is now a clear and present danger of Trump seeking to execute a Saturday Night Massacre after the Cohen raid, while the Mueller investigation deepens and spreads.

The Mueller investigation and the Cohen raid all involve a Republican attorney general, a Republican deputy attorney general, a Republican U.S. district attorney, a Republican FBI director and a Republican special counsel.

The only way Republicans in Congress can save themselves from a massive debacle in November is to do the right thing, to fully back these Republicans in the administration of justice and to act now to prevent the Saturday Night Massacre before it is too late.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.