GOP faces midterm disaster as Mueller, Rosenstein, Cohen bombshells explode

Recent bombshell news involving special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE, Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinFeds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates MORE and the National Enquire create dire and potentially catastrophic prospects for Republicans in the midterm elections.  

Nixonian coverups of Russian crimes against America by some Republicans in Congress, and Nixonian attacks by some Republicans in Congress against American law enforcement — including investigations defending America against said Russian crimes — would be political suicide for the GOP. It might mobilize the Trump base, but it would hyper-mobilize the far larger number of Americans who are appalled by the ever-increasing number of swampland scandals. 

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If Donald Trump or House Republicans precipitate an epic showdown with Mueller, the widely respected Mueller will win in a landslide over the highly unpopular Trump in the high court of public opinion. What’s more, the legally impeccable Mueller will win a legal triumph over what is left of the Trump defense team in the high court of justice.

 

The first bombshell story, from The New York Times, considers a long list of questions that special counsel Mueller reportedly wants to ask President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE about obstruction of justice and potential collusion of Trump associates with Russians for the purpose of electing Trump in 2016. The Mueller questions suggest intense focus on what I call the collusion meeting at Trump Tower, at which highest-level Trump associates accepted an invitation from Russian agents for the purpose — explicitly stated in the request for the meeting — of giving the Trump campaign political dirt against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE, obtained by Russia through illegal means.

A second Mueller bombshell, reported Wednesday in The Washington Post, suggested that in a tense meeting in March, Mueller warned lawyers for Trump that if the president refused to be interviewed voluntarily, the special counsel could seek a subpoena to force him to testify before the grand jury — something most legal experts believe Mueller would be granted.

Another bombshell story, this time from the National Enquirer, purported to reveal “payoffs and threats” from “Trump’s top fixer,” Michael Cohen. Since the National Enquirer would almost certainly not run this story without prior approval from Trump or his associates, it stands to reason Trump has begun an attack against Cohen. This would probably push Cohen to make a deal with the feds, if such a deal has not already been made, which would be a code-red nuclear event for the Russia investigations and for the midterm elections.

In a surprise move, a faction of conservative House Republicans is preparing an attempt to impeach Rosenstein — an act that, if set into motion, would set off a national political firestorm as grave as the firestorm that would explode if Trump were to fire Mueller, Rosenstein and/or his attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's no racist; he's an equal opportunity offender Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question MORE.

Rosenstein’s response, in yet another bombshell, is that he will not permit the Justice Department to be “extorted” by partisan Trump supporters who employ threats to undermine the rule of law.

Today, Cohen and former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller Top Mueller prosecutor Zainab Ahmad joins law firm Gibson Dunn Russian oligarch's story could spell trouble for Team Mueller MORE face excruciating pressure to cut a deal with the feds. This creates extreme political danger for House Republican members and leaders who pursue or tolerate repeated attacks against Mueller, Rosenstein, the Justice Department, the FBI and others who are investigating the Russian attack against America.

The National Enquirer story has ominous implications for Republicans. Cohen has good reason to be worried; the aggressive raid against Cohen by the feds indicates there is a strong probability devastating evidence will be obtained from it. The warrant authorizing such a raid would not have been granted without strong evidence of a crime. The revelation that Cohen had previously been under investigation for months suggests other warrants were granted for surveillance, including phone calls and emails.

All the while, huge numbers of voters are becoming more and more angry at the steady stream of swampland scandals involving various Trump administration officials — bombshell after bombshell will fall as the midterms get closer and closer. 

Neither Republicans nor Trump were helped by the shameful report from House Intelligence Committee Republicans; it was widely seen by intelligence and law enforcement professionals as an incompetent farce, and by many voters as aiding and abetting an obstruction of justice by partisans who appear to dread a nonpartisan investigation.

Democrats have won stunning and unexpected victories in 2017 and 2018 because voter turnout has surged beyond all expectations from those appalled by the scandals and outrages that are reported almost daily. And more bombshells of indictments, plea deals and subpoenas are sure to follow.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former U.S. 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.