Donald Trump

Who Are the Republicans Warning About Firing Mueller, and How Many of Them Are Running for President?

Here are the three main categories of don't-go-there Republicans.


There is nothing I don't love about this photograph. ||| Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

Is President Donald Trump laying the groundwork for a Friday Night Massacre, and if so which elected Republicans are standing athwart history repeating itself yelling "I dunno man, maybe slow down?"

First, let's recap the weekend highlights:

On Saturday, the day after embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired the retiring Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Trump for the first time tweeted out the name of his tormentor, saying, "The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!" (For fact-check of those claims, consult The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler.)

That same day Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, told The Daily Beast, "I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe's boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier." (White House lawyer Ty Cobb has since insisted that the president "is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.")

Meanwhile, Trump is out here tweeting that Mueller's team has "13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans" (WashPost context-check), and that it's all a "total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!" and so forth.

The Republicans who have raised objections to the prospect of Trump trying to fire Mueller broadly fall into three categories: Hawks, Squishes, and Retirees (some of them libertarian-leaning). These blocs map pretty well onto the conservative opposition to Trumpism thus far, and therefore could be more influential than they are today come December 2018, should the GOP lose the House and Senate.


Leading off for the don't-go-there Hawks is Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday that "If he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency." More: "I think it's very important [Mueller] be allowed to do his job without interference, and there are many Republicans who share my view." These sentiments were shared, unsurprisingly, by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.): "Special Counsel Mueller has served our country with honesty and integrity. It's critical he be allowed to complete a thorough investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election—unimpeded."

In the finger-in-the-wind Squish category we can find House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wisc.), whose spokeswoman statemented that, "As the speaker has always said, Mr. Mueller and his team should be able to do their job." I guess it depends on the meaning of the word "should."

And among the Retirees—elected officials who have announced they are leaving at the end of their current terms—there is the increasingly off-the-reservation House Intelligence Committee member Trey Gowdy (S.C.), who advised the president on Fox News Sunday, "When you are innocent…act like it," adding: "If you've done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as fulsome and thorough as possible."

He suuuuuure hasn't. ||| YouTube

The lead Retiree, as usual, is Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), who on State of the Union said that firing Mueller would be "a massive red line that can't be crossed." The senator further insisted: "Talking to my colleagues all along, it was, 'Once he goes after Mueller, then we'll take action.'" So we'll see about that.

As for the McCabe firing, Flake said, "I think it was a horrible day for democracy….To have firings like this happening at the top, from the president and the attorney general, does not speak well for what's going on. I don't know what the designs are on for Mueller, but it seems to be building toward that, and I just hope it doesn't go there, because it can't. We can't, in Congress, accept that."

If anti-Trump sentiment in the broader electorate leads to a GOP wipeout this November—and the still-preliminary polling right now is pointing in that direction—then there will be yet another feverish battle to define the modern GOP. Already, Flake is making noises about a potential presidential run (on which more in this space later); if Democrats control Capitol Hill, he certainly would not be alone.

NEXT: Some Pundits Say There's No Campus Free Speech 'Crisis.' Here's Why They're Wrong.

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  1. I like how this article begins with the premise that

    (1) the Mueller investigation isn’t overstepping its bounds at all…..standards/

    (2) that absent all evidence after a full year of the entire media, FBI, and Congressional investigations the Russia collusion thesis is still totally legitimate

    and (3) there is something wrong with firing McCabe, even though it was recommended by the FBI inspector general’s office.

    1. Also, of note, the only libertarian in the Senate, Rand Paul, is critical of the Russia collusion thesis and was fine with firing McCabe.

    2. Flake: “To have firings like this happening at the top”

      The top of what? Does he even know WTF he’s talking about? McCabe didn’t even have a real job with the FBI at the time he was fired. I’m pretty disappointed in Flake at this.

      1. Flake claims to be a Libertarian. How he reconciles that claim with thinking that the FBI should be a secret police that is not accountable to even the highest elected officials is a mystery known only to him.

        1. Flake was good for a while, but after Trump broke the Freedom Caucus’s back he never really became sane again it seems. I’m not saying Trump was right to do that, but it was informative watching how quickly they folded.

          1. If you fold like that, it brings into question how Libertarian you really are.

            Libertarians on here take a beating from socialists, Communists, Anarchists, and neo-liberal Reason staff with sock puppets. If you can handle these chumps, maintaining your principles should be no problem. Unless you are not who you say your are.

            1. The weird thing is that Trump threatened to primary Flake, Flake folds, and now Flake isn’t running for office again. It makes me wonder…

    3. I don’t understand how it is “a horrible day for democracy” for the executive branch to fire an employee of…the executive branch.

      1. And the inspector general of that department recommended that the employee be fired for lying to the FBI, a crime that any average American would be jailed for or financially crippled.

        Reason’s hot take: “We want police accountability, but not FBI accountability”

        1. Welchie Boy isn’t a real libertarian, so he doesn’t want the actual truth of what happened to ever come out.

          It’s quite possible that he’s so fucking dumb he that he actually believes all this “Russian influence” bullshit.

          1. Welch use to be good. He wrote an article for the LA Times when the whole Russia collusion thing first started and said unless any evidence of such a wild accusation is ever found this whole investigation will permanently damage the country. He acknowledged that the whole thesis was tenuous and being pushed by a bias media.

            Somewhere along the line he morphed into Gillespie or the Kochs decided to change strategy and just go full neoliberal abandoning all talk of government accountability.

            1. If in fact he does know better but has been coerced into pushing this bullshit, that’s really pathetic.

              But yeah, the Koch brothers are definitely all about pushing the agenda of their big donors now, and it seems like their big donors are Jeff Bezos, George Soros, and Prince Alaweed.

              1. I can’t imagine any other reason other than Matt previously being on meds, and being off those meds now.

                It is sad, I used to have a ton of respect for that guy. Now he is a WaPo whore. If he really wants to get paid to tell leftists what they want to hear, good for him. He can keep company with Krugman and Maher.

          2. Why exactly the Welch hate? The post reads like a recap, not like Welch taking a definitive stance.

      2. Nothing says Democracy like an unaccountable national police force. Didn’t you know that?

        1. Who’s unaccountable? You want the president to be free from oversight despite obviously being a big fat blob of corruption.

          1. McCabe was found to have lied and broken numerous FBI rules. The ethics officials within the FBI investigated and recommended he be fired. If you don’t think McCabe should be fired, you don’t think the FBI should be accountable. It is that simple.

            And the same people who claim McCabe should not have been fired claim that Trump didn’t have the authority to fire Comey. If the President can’t fire the head of the FBI, then the FBI isn’t accountable to anyone.

            1. The president can fire the head of the FBI for any reason except the one Trump employed (to obstruct justice), something he admitted to on live TV. What a retard.

              1. Obstruction of justice how? Comey lied to Congress on multiple occasions. He serves at the pleasure of the President. He can be fired. You screaming about crimes that neither exist nor you can even enumerate doesn’t change that.

                1. Trump’s original horseshit excuse was Comey’s handling of poor victimized Hillary Clinton’s email thing. Then he admitted on live TV it was actually because of the Russia investigation.

                  I don’t know why you’re defending unchecked presidential power when this specific president is so obviously a walking disaster.

                  1. He had the right to fire him Tony. And you only don’t think he did because you are a totalitarian moron who thinks having a secret police accountable to no one is a good idea.

                    1. Trump’s own justice department appointed Mueller.

                      Do you really think anyone here believes that this isn’t 100% about the (R) after Trump’s name to you?

                    2. No. Sessions recused himself. Mueller was appointed by career people.

                    3. To investigate the fact that Russia interfered in the US election. If the president is complicit, don’t you want to know?

                    4. It’s been 18 months and there is still zero evidence of him doing anything.

                      And, it’s nice to see some people notice that McCabe indicated that Comey lied under oath to Congress.

                    5. Given that the U.S. interfered in Israeli elections, it is a bit, well, hypocritical.

              2. “The president can fire the head of the FBI for any reason except the one Trump employed (to obstruct justice), something he admitted to on live TV.”

                Anyone with those sorts of fantasies should seek help.

                1. Don’t forget that everyone, and I mean everyone, wanted Comey fired. Once Trump fired him, suddenly he was a martyr. It was a truly remarkable switcheroo, especially once you recall that Comey literally admitted to leaking. If it was the Obama administration, Comey would probably be in jail for that.

                  1. Only getting your information from FOX News leaves you literally retarded. I am not getting paid to explain basic facts to you idiots. It is not a crime for a private citizen to release unclassified personal memos talking about his time on the job. Or else every former government employee turned memoirist would be in prison.

                    At any rate, you’re relieved about the disclosures in the interest of good governance and finding justice, I’m sure.

                    1. I don’t read or watch Fox, but even if I did that’s not an argument. Notably the reporters that the Obama administration went after for leaking didn’t ‘do anything wrong’ either but that didn’t slow their roll.

                    2. Tony, you moron, it depends on whether the information was classified or not.

                      Also, it is a crime to lie to Congress. McCabe proved Comey did just so when McCabe said that Comey approved his leak to the WSJ.

                    3. It is not a crime for a private citizen to release unclassified personal memos talking about his time on the job.

                      FBI director talks to the President are unclassified…how? And who vetted that? Him alone?

                2. Agreed. In order to beleive that you’d have to believe that Comey had specific knowledge of a crime, was intended on referring it for prosecution, and somehow after being fired he lost all interest in the matter.

                  Or, maybe he’s just saving it for his book tour…

              3. Don’t worry, Tony. They’ll find that Russian birth certificate eventually.

          2. Oversight over the President is not something that can be done by his subordinates.

            1. Well we’re all giddy with anticipation for congressional Republicans to stand up to the cousinfucker base voters and do their constitutionally mandated oversight of the president, but I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath.

              1. I guess It’s not oversight until you get the outcome you want.

                1. That’s leftist jurisprudence for you

              2. Why do you always bash on Muslim’s so hard with that cousin fucking business? It’s part of their religion after all. They can’t help it if it’s corrupted the Pakistani genome for a few centuries to come.

              3. Oversight is discretionary, not mandatory.

          3. What?? The (elected!) president’s ability to fire high ranking law enforce officials *is* the civilian oversight for those agencies. If elected officials can’t fire such people, the civilian oversight is what’s missing. As usual, you have things precisely backwards.

      3. Curious that, isn’t it?

        Although if your vision of government includes unelected employees of the executive branch unaccountably operating beyond Constitutionally defined limits then I suppose it makes some sort of sense.

    4. What you knuckleheads forget is that a real libertarian would support ANY reigns on the power of the President, or ANYTHING that hinders him in any way or causes him to lose sleep, whether based on fact or mere speculation. The fact that so-called libertarians are defending a sitting President is just sad.

      1. I tend to think that using the entrenched bureaucracy to usurp the authority of a democratically elected president is more offensive to the notion of smaller government. But, yes, restraints on the president are always a good thing, when it is done by elected members of Congress. Since when did a professional entrenched bureaucracy ever become ‘libertarian’?

        1. Especially when a president is being ‘restrained’ by an entrenched bureaucracy that is trying to push for more war or are we going to pretend like none of this has to do with forcing his hand on foreign policy?

          1. John Maidan McCain agrees.

            In Soviet America, John Maidan McCain torture YOU.

      2. Real libertarians might recognize that abusing the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus against a candidate for elective office is the worst sort of threat to a free and indepenedent people.

        But I can see how you might be willing to overlook that sort of thing.

        1. No, it’s just two arms of the octopus fighting for dominance. Which means those two arms are distracted from feasting on us.

          1. That is as moronic as it is inapt.

            It equates a candidate for office with the Federal intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

            Jesus, try harder next time.

      3. Jesus you are a fucking tool.

    5. I manage projects. The first step in any project is reaching an agreement with the sponsors on the project goals and SCOPE. Along the way, and scope changes require the sign-off of the project manager and sponsors.

      Rod Rosenstein is the experienced Deputy Attorney General who hired Mueller – and completely neglected to define the scope of the investigation. And he has done nothing since to reign Mueller in as he expands the fishing expedition. No way this isn’t intentional and malicious.

      Rosenstein should be fired, then Sessions if he can’t keep the special prosecutor on task.

    6. And that McCain is relevant, or ever was. If you’re looking to THAT man for moral counsel, you may wish to check your position.

    7. …and by the Office of Professional Responisbility…..staffed by career FBI personnel.

    8. Absent all evidence except guilty pleas and indictments from the highest levels of his admin. Sure….

  2. I get it that Reason doesn’t like Trump. But, maybe you guys should set aside your dislike of Trump for a moment and consider the ramifications of having a prosecutor empowered to investigate any subject he likes for as long as he wants and to indict anyone he finds guilty of any crime along the way.

    The Mueller appointment was fatally flawed from the first day in that it never specified what crime Mueller was supposed to be investigating. It is not a crime for American citizens to talk to foreigners or foreign governments, even the evil Ruskies. And to pretend it is is a direct assault on the First Amendment. Just what the fuck is “collusion” anyway? It is nothing. It is a totally meaningless term with no legal ramifications. Yet, Mueller was sent to investigate this.

    The fact that he was and is now indicting people for crimes that have nothing to do with the election and he only stumbled upon because he was sent out to investigate a crime that didn’t exist, should bother Libertarians. In fact, Libertarians should be the first ones to be angry about this. If Libertarians can’t be counted on to stand up for the civil liberties and the rule of law for everyone regardless of party or political beliefs, just what fucking good are they?

    1. And we know how much integrity and concern for constitution rights Mueller has:

      Civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate: How Robert Mueller Tried To Entrap Me

      But I have known Mueller during key moments of his career as a federal prosecutor. My experience has taught me to approach whatever he does in the Trump investigation with a requisite degree of skepticism or, at the very least, extreme caution.

      When Mueller was the acting United States Attorney in Boston, I was defense counsel in a federal criminal case in which a rather odd fellow contacted me to tell me that he had information that could assist my client. He asked to see me, and I agreed to meet. He was prepared, he said, to give me an affidavit to the effect that certain real estate owned by my client was purchased with lawful currency rather than, as Mueller’s office was claiming, the proceeds of illegal drug activities.

      My secretary typed up the affidavit that the witness was going to sign. Just as he picked up the pen, he looked at me and said something like: “You know, all of this is actually false, but your client is an old friend of mine and I want to help him.” As I threw the putative witness out of my office, I noticed, under the flowing white shirt, a lump on his back ? he was obviously wired and recording every word between us.

      1. And lets not forget Mueller and Comey spent years trying to frame an innocent man for the anthrax attacks, all the while letting the guilty person walk free right under their noses.

        Meuller is scum. And his staff is no better. His main deputy is Weinstein of Enron infamy.

        1. I’ve read about Weinstein. How could any investigation he is involved with not at least seem tainted? Why would you hire him if not to go to any lengths to find something, since going to any lengths is his MO?

          1. And why isn’t Reason all over his being hired? He is a known dirty prosecutor who is now making big dollars prosecuting again. And reason can’t be bothered to notice because TRUMP!! it is pathetic.

            1. Why?

              Because you go to war with the army you have.

              Hasn’t this all been infinitely apparent since about Novemeber 9th, 2016?

        2. Andrew Weissmann not Weinstein.

          Weinstein is a jerk, maybe even a rapist, but he didn’t wreck the livelihood of around 80,000 innocent accountants and staff. Track record on Enron Task Force: “The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 vote in 2005, overturned the Andersen conviction. A year later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased all the fraud convictions against four Merrill Lynch managers. The jury had acquitted another defendant.” Of course, the Enron executives were a slam dunk.

          1. Weissman. And he made sure they rotted in prison and didn’t get an appellate bond even though he knew the charges were unlikely to survive appeal. He is a first class scumbag.

    2. The Never-Trumpers seem perfectly happy to turn the country over to the far-left Dems that are waiting in the wings. I don’t get it, but there it is.

      1. I am amazed at how quickly people like Kristol and Max Boot dropped the mask and went full totalitarian commie.

        1. The lefties have publicly said why. Trump represents war on their hard work to socialize America. They will do whatever it takes to prevent Americans from rallying behind someone like Trump working for Americans.

        2. For them it’s always been a matter of whose cronies, not what policy.

      2. Maybe Trump shouldn’t be so fucking corrupt.

        The party of personal responsibility, ladies and gentlemen.

        1. Or maybe you should be able to explain what crimes were supposed to have been committed here rather than ranting like an old man at the laundromat?

          1. I witnessed him obstruct justice on numerous occasions. As for whether he’s actually in a conspiracy to aid a foreign adversary at the US’s expense, or whether he’s just a fucking moron caught up in something he doesn’t understand, will be uncovered. Either way, some president you have there.

            1. Talking to the Russians is not a conspiracy you half wit. And Obama went all over the world during the 2008 campaign telling world leaders to ignore the sitting President and making promises of what he was going to do once he became President.

              And conspiring with foreign countries? Like maybe telling the Russians to stand fast that he would have “more flexibility” after he was elected? You mean like that/? You mean sending hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to the Iranians in direct violation of US law? Like that?

              Just give it up Tony. This embarrassing even for you. No one believes the Russian bullshit anymore. Not even the Democrats.

              1. If you had any capacity for self-assessment you’d be truly embarrassed by how much you’ve let Trump’s desperate and half-assed propaganda machine win you over so quickly and thoroughly.

                I don’t know exactly what’s going on between Trump and Putin, but I do know that Putin is the single person in the world other thank Ivanka who Trump won’t say a bad word about. Maybe he thinks he’s hot too.

    3. Nobody thinks your opinion is worth a handful of shit John. If Obama had jaywalked once you’d be calling for impeachment.

      And I don’t know why you’re miming the president’s fixation on the word “collusion,” as nobody but he (and I guess FOX News) is using it.

      Serious crimes have very likely been committed. How about we throw the book at criminals in the executive branch using at least a fraction of the force Trump wants to do to normal citizens?

      1. John opinions are well articulated and I agree with a lot of it.

        You Tony, not so much.

      2. Yes, Tony you are a fucking moron who thinks being a Republican should be a crime. We get that. But luckily that is not the case. And screaming “serious crimes have been committed” without bothering to explain what those crimes are doesn’t change that.

        1. I’ll let Mueller explain what the crimes are. If you’re curious about what indictments have already been handed out, I recommend googling the subject.

          1. Mueller hasn’t explained anything. He is investigating people for shit that has nothing to do with the election or what he was charged to investigate. So, try again.

            1. The fact that even Tony cannot explain the “crimes” is very telling.

              Even after all these decades, Nixon’s crimes are easy to tell: Nixon allowed White House salaried persons to burgle the DNC. Nixon likely knew but the White house recordings describe the coverup and 18 minutes were deleted. Nixon then tried to order the AG to fire the special prosecutor which the AG declined to do.

              1. Other crimes, like lying to the FISA court to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page are quite easy to explain. Funny that.

          2. I hope he does.

            He CHARGED Gates with 9 counts of bank fraud, 5 counts of tax fraud, and a $75M money laundering charge. The next day, he let him plea down to misleading investigators and the usual add-on of “conspiracy against the US”.

            He charged with crimes with sentences totalling 305 years. He plead to one with a sentence of 0-5 years. As McCarthy of NR pointed out, DOJ attorneys are required to require a defendant to plead to the most serious readily provable charge.

            Apparently, the most readily provable charge was misleading investigators — who, of course, do not record their interviews in the first place.

            So, why the massive fraud charges as well? A single bank fraud charge would be 30 yrs in jail. The plea also deeply harms the Manafort trial because, after all, if Gates was able to plea to virtually nothing, then the charges are clearly not that serious. Also, odds of him getting a sign off from the IRS to drop all of the tax fraud charges seems exceptionally slim in 24 hrs.

        2. But there was a serious crime: regicide! He stopped Queen Hillary from ascending to the throne!

          Let’s face it, that’s what all this is really about.

          1. That and Trump is actually rolling back lefty’s handiwork socializing the USA.

            If Trump was doing nothing in office, this would have blown over by now.

            1. I don’t know about that. It isn’t just the serious butthurt that comes from The Most Qualified Candidate Evah! getting her ass handed to her by a reality-TV buffoon or the socialism that has been rolled back; it’s also the socialism going forward that they were looking forward to but now aren’t getting.

          2. You know as much as Trump is a disaster, I often feel relief knowing that at least we’re not going through endless Republican investigations and witch hunts over nothing as we’d have with a Hillary presidency. They’re so fucking crazy now and she’s so hated they’d make Bill’s BJ investigation and Benghazi look like child’s play.

            And John and most of the other people here would be cheering the whole thing on.

            1. I don’t doubt that for a second. For me it just goes to show that the whole thing is rotten to the core; as H.L. Mencken said, a carnival of buncombe.

            2. After Mueller, Hillary will get her turn.

              Its why Mueller is allowed to continue. Legitimizes investigations of powerful people again.

              1. Hillary isn’t the treasonous pig, you tool.

                1. She just took money from foreign governments regularly and provided them generous benefits.

                  TOTALLY different…

                  1. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Seek real facts.

      3. You are a fucking toady and have no business attacking anyone.

    4. I get it that Reason doesn’t like Trump. But, maybe you guys should set aside your dislike of Trump for a moment and consider the ramifications of having a prosecutor empowered to investigate any subject he likes for as long as he wants and to indict anyone he finds guilty of any crime along the way.

      Even National Review is noticing Mueller’s habit of bringing up BIG charges…and then plea bargaining down to next to nothing. He’s done it repeatedly now. If the charges can bring over a decade of prison time, why plea bargain down to one that provides nothing?

    5. This is the crux of my problem with Reason.

      This should be a libertarian journalist’s wet dream.

      The commetariat gets it, we scream it at them, we mercilessly mock them, yet they continue with their TDS bullshit. We literally had/have secret police and secret courts spying on Americans, spying on a sitting president. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy and media is nothing but an arm of a political party (where have we seen that before?). Yet Matt and Nick and all the others save all their ire for Trump.

  3. Whew I’m glad that WaPo is around to “fact check” everything.

    1. I stopped visiting the WaPo after Volokh left; The 2016 election seems to have driven them around the bend, every month they go further off the deep end.

    2. I know, right?

  4. “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest? What’s Robert Bork’s twitter handle?”

  5. Is Welch defending “Hitlery’s FBI” ?

    Got some bad news for ya pal, your girl lost.

  6. McCabe got fired days before his retirement! Hahaha

    1. And STILL gets to retire at the age of 50 with a pension, albeit a reduced pension, but a pension nonetheless

      1. He does? I didn’t see a confirmation on that info. I figured he would appeal his firing to some government agency and win something after some lefty bureaucrat judge sided with McCabe for some BS reason.

        1. They’d have to convict him in court of what they fired him over, in order to actually take away his pension. All he lost was the bit that wasn’t yet vested.

          1. Hm. Didn’t know that.

            I thought he needed a minimum years of government service and missed that by 2 days. I was under the impression that he was shooting for the minimum to make the 20 year cut off. It looks like he started at the FBI in 1996, which would have given him almost 22 years.

            5 USC section 8412:
            (d) An employee who is separated from the service, except by removal for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency
            (2) after becoming 50 years of age and completing 20 years of service as a law enforcement officer, member of the Capitol Police or Supreme Court Police, firefighter, nuclear materials courier, or customs and border protection officer, or any combination of such service totaling at least 20 years,

        2. I thought “journalist” Andrea Mitchell suggesting a Democrat hire him so he can hit his required service for full pension was one of the pinnacles of a totally impartial media.

    2. Why do you, personally, hate McCabe so much that you’d find glee in this dick move? What did he do exactly? Do you even know?

      1. I don’t hate him personally. I don’t know him personally.

        He is a crappy bureaucrat. He should have been fired a long time ago. Same thing with Comey and many unnamed government bureaucrats.

      2. Tony, I understand that you are no more libertarian than Matt Welch has become, but even a mentally deficient partisan like yourself must admit that it is unfair that an FBI agent should be able to get away with lying to the FBI while an average American would be imprisoned or financially crippled for the same offense.

        1. Just as long as you apply the same standard to people who work in the White House.

          1. It does now. Not when Obama, W Bush, and Clinton were president.

          2. Were you cognitive during the Obama administration? Holder and Brennan both lied to Congress and Hillary lied to the FBI.

          3. Didn’t Hillary work in the White House as Secretary of State, and didn’t she tell the FBI she’d never sent classified info on her personal email server?

          4. The people in the White House keep or lose their jobs per the will of the electorate.

      3. He leaked information to the press against FBI rules. They do not allow that.

        Why are you such a jock-sniffer for FBI drones?

        You don’t like his hiring? Take it up with the IG who recommended it.

  7. Would the investigation stop if Mueller were fired? My job wouldn’t stop if I were fired, and I am ostensibly in charge. Wouldn’t they just find a new guy and carry on?

    1. Maybe. The DOJ or Congress has to appoint a new special prosecutor.

      Part of me says let the lefties waste another 6 months and then can Mueller and appoint the special prosecutor to prosecute Hillary and her cronies.

    2. Unlike your job, Mueller’s goes on as long as he, not his employers say so. Obviously he found not a trace of collusion in the campaign. His one scalp (Flynn’s) was the result of threatening the man’s son, not evidence. Even the Judge refused to go forward with the case. He should be done, instead he’s gone fishing into unrelated stuff long before the election.

      If my employer decided they didn’t need my job any longer, it would end and I’d have to find another job inside or outside the company.

  8. Nothing says small government quite like defending a career bureaucrat retiring in his 50s and losing part of his pension for lying to the FBI, an offense that would land most regular Americans in prison or financially crippled. Wait, that makes no sense…..

    1. If it makes no sense and is bad for America, its supported by lefties.

    2. It’s also basically the only “offenses” Mueller has gotten people for in the first place.

      Good enough to accuse the President of collusion and spend 18 months investigating…not good enough to fire one useless bureaucrat.

    3. He turned 50 yesterday and has worked for the government 21 years. The outlandish size of the retirement package he would have received at my expense should be the subject of an investigation.


    Hate to link a Raimondo article, but that crazy bastard is right in light of how awful the neoliberals masquerading as ‘libertarians’ at this publication have become

    1. Neoliberals, neocons, and anarchists are among us Libertarians.

      You can usually pick them out fairly quickly but it sucks because some of them are in media and give Libertarians a bad name and outright try and sabotage the Libertarian movement.

      Bill Weld is one of those guys.

    2. It would be nice to have a serious discussion of the civil liberties issues with all of this. But sadly, Welch ignores them and Tony shows up to shit all over the thread to ensure a decent discussion cannot be had in the comments.

    3. The sheer insanity of a “libertarian” siding with the most unaccountable and coercive sectors of the state apparatus, the “intelligence community,” in their quest to overthrow a sitting President is something I would have thought inconceivable.

      How do you suppose they would have responded to similar efforts directed at a newly elected Obama?

      End of the Republic, to be sure.

      Never forget that behind every double standard is a single, operative standard.

  10. That photograph is what Moynihan looks like when exposed to direct sunlight.

  11. There may not have been anything that could have made the president look better than the Mueller investigation.

    If it weren’t for the Mueller investigation, the monsters people imagine in the dark would be much worse. So far, all I’ve seen is Mueller coerce his star witnesses into pleading guilty to perjury, which is basically Mueller shooting his own case in the foot. If a trial outcome depends on the credibility of witnesses to jurors, and the prosecutor’s witnesses have all pleaded guilty to perjury, then cross examination is gonna be a breeze for the defense.

    I understand someone from the private sector thinking this is all a big waste of the president’s time and focus, which is important, but the alternative is worse for Trump.

    People are less interested in this than they are in Stormy Daniels, and no one gives a shit about Stormy Daniels. I read in the WSJ that she’s liable to Trump for $20 million if she doesn’t get out of the contract she signed and talks. Meanwhile, the cat’s already out of the bag. So Trump bangs pr0n stars and pays them to shut up about it. So what?

    So Jared Kushner and Flynn and Manacort or whoever the fuck did stupid shit about something or other–BFD. Whether Mueller knowingly wasting everybody’s time should be a crime is something we should discuss after his investigation is over–circa 2030. In the meantime, let the little bastard try to blame it all on something other than the FBI and his protege Comey.

    1. Sessions has taken a lot of criticism for recusing himself and letting Meuller get appointed. I think Sessions did the exact right thing. Had Sessions been involved, he either would have been accountable for not reigning in Meuller or given the Democrats an excuse to claim Meuller was onto something if he did. The longer this goes on, the more ridiculous Mueller looks. The guy has been investigating for a year and has absolutely nothing. Worse, he is so desperate he is indicting people for shit that has nothing to do with Trump or the election just to show he is doing something.

      If you fire Mueller, idiots like Tony will forever tell themselves that he was about to reveal the truth. The better path is to just let Mueller flounder. He won’t ever find anything because there is nothing to find. And the more time passes that he doesn’t find anything, the worse he looks. At this point, Mueller is probably begging DOJ to fire him. If they fire him, he can always say he would have found something had he just had more time. Leave him alone and he is left explaining why he waisted years and millions of dollars and found nothing. Mueller is going to end up looking like a fool to most of the country and will forever be thought of as a traitor who let Trump off the hook by the left. What a fucking rube.

      1. Imagine being Mueller and not only having to investigate crimes but having to look over his shoulder as the president attempts the ultimate obstruction (firing the person investigating you) and pathetic sheep like you egg him on, just as Tits McGee on Fox and Friends instructed.

        1. And when Mueller finds nothing, he will have people like you calling him a traitor.

          1. He’s already indicted 20+ people John. “Nothing” is already off the table. But you’ll hand-wave whatever happens to Trump just like you’re doing those.

            Why are you defending Russians taking offensive measures against the US? I’d like to think I’d never sink that low just to stick with my tribe. But then I chose a tribe precisely because it wasn’t the insane, corrupt one.

            1. He’s already indicted 20+ people John.

              Most for lying to the FBI. Which you feel is insufficient to fire an FBI bureaucrat over.

            2. In terms of ‘something’ or ‘nothing’ I of course mean ‘nothing as relates to his actual goal of impeachment’ and so far, it seems the things he has found are ‘Washington as usual’ crimes that don’t usually end up with any type of punishment whatsoever (RE: Hillary Clinton).

              I think the mistake those caught up so far made was that they thought this was a normal election and they didn’t expect an unusual investigation. I wager that if someone like Mueller was unleashed every election that this would be the standard haul of miscreants. That’s not really an excuse, just an observation.

            3. And 13 of those were Russians for the crime of trolling on the internet. None of it has anything to do with Trump or collusion, whatever that is.

          2. Mueller has to know that finding nothing isn’t an option for him given that if he doesn’t find anything this will be the last thing he ever does in Washington. The left will turn on him like a rabid dog.

            1. Some of these go on for decades. It isn’t over until he says it’s over.

        2. “Imagine being Mueller and not only having to investigate crimes but having to look over his shoulder . . .

          Yeah, nothing says “freedom” like unaccountable prosecutors.

          Do you feel that way when the subject is BLM?

          1. We can debate the merits of a special prosecutor, but you’re calling for an unaccountable president, so I don’t trust your judgment to be anything but partisan fealty.

            1. Why would you write something like that in this subthread?

              “There may not have been anything that could have made the president look better than the Mueller investigation.

              If it weren’t for the Mueller investigation, the monsters people imagine in the dark would be much worse . . . .

              I understand someone from the private sector thinking this is all a big waste of the president’s time and focus, which is important, but the alternative is worse for Trump.

              . . . .

              Let the little bastard try to blame it all on something other than the FBI and his protege Comey.

              And you say I’m calling for an unaccountable president?

              That’s so stupid in so many ways–among them, it contradicts the comment you responded to in this very subthread.

              For another, your comment that seems to calling for an unaccountable prosecutor isn’t negated by you pointing the finger and saying “tu quoque”.

            2. Trump will be held to account in November 2020.

              If progressives keep with their current strategy, he’ll probably get re-elected and there will be no end to their butthurt.

            3. How is Trump less accountable than any other president? To the people? The courts? Congress? Do you know what you’re even trying to say?

      2. If the pending OIG report is half as explosive as alleged Mueller is going to be left grasping at straws.

        About as bad as if Ken Starr had been shown that the Rose law firm was actually a performancer art troop.

  12. “If anti-Trump sentiment in the broader electorate lead to a GOP wipeout this November?and the still-preliminary polling right now is pointing in that direction?”

    The polling is certainly pointing in the direction of a GOP wipeout this November, and the Republican establishment earned every bit of it. But the idea that it’s anti-Trump sentiment rather than anti-Republican leadership isn’t supported by the polls. Trump polls a lot better with Republicans than the GOP Senate does.

    Trump being unpopular with Democrats may pull his overall approval rating down a bit, but the political implications of being hated by people who were never going to vote Republican anyway are questionable.

    It is a bit ironic about their losing the House due to the Senate being worthless, though. That’s got to have Ryan pulling his hair out.

    1. the polling isn’t pointing to that. Last I looked the generic R v. D preferences were pretty even.

    2. Oh, it’s anti-Trump. The first midterm is always bad for the president, but do you think a normal president with this economy would be looking at such a shellacking? What does your hypothesis have to say about Conor Lamb? Or any of the other districts that went to Trump by double digits but are now electing Democrats?

      Granted, congressional leadership is hated, but they always are.

      1. Tell us more how Obama was really popular yet the Democratic party shrank to its smallest number of elected officials than at any time since the Civil War? At some point Tony, you might want to mix in a decaf and just shut the fuck up once in a while. As much fun as it is torture you and laugh at you, it would be nice if the adults could talk sometimes. It really would.

        1. I’m getting a solid impression that you enjoy hurting others, John. Maybe you should see someone about that.

          Democrats were not very popular in 2010, having presided over Bush’s destroyed economy and a healthcare law that you folks demagogued into oblivion.

          As it happens, now, Trump is not popular either, being a bloated senile traitor.

          1. Except Trump fixed Obama’s debacle of an economy and signed a tax cut that your side demagogued into oblivion.

            Imagine if the press wasn’t so fervently of the Dem side. We’d likely never have a Dem President again.

      2. What does your hypothesis have to say about Conor Lamb?

        That if you run a Team Blue candidate who supports the Second Amendment, personally opposes abortion but says nothing else on the topic, and openly promises to vote against the far left leadership of the party, that person might squeak out a win by a fraction of a percent if there’s a Libertarian candidate ‘stealing’ votes from the GOP nominee..

      3. “What does your hypothesis have to say about Conor Lamb?”

        Yep, won in a landslide while trying to out GOP the GOP, didn’t he?

    3. Not a single special election has been a blowout for Democrats. Although special election do not necessarily equate to turnouts for midterm elections, Trump has getting more popular while Democrats are becoming less popular.

      The main reason that Americans don’t know the real state of things is because the media refuses to publish what that pulse is. That tells me that it is bad for lefties. Otherwise, the media would be running up to any average Joe or Jane and video how much they are going to vote against Republicans. The media is very selective in their picks for the narrative supporting Americans.

    4. I’ve already posted on this extensively, but I believe it will be anti-Trump sentiment that gives the Democrats the House–but it’s not really about Trump’s stand on any issues.

      Almost all presidents suffer big losses in the house in the first midterm after they take office. It doesn’t really what the issue is–or who the president is. It’s like the seasons.

      Next fall, the birds will flock south for the winter. It won’t be because of Trump’s positions on immigration or taxation. How many of them flock may be bigger than they would be otherwise, but no matter what Trump did–he’d be losing birds to the southern latitudes.

      Meanwhile, he has a better chance of being reelected than he did of being elected in the first place.

      Anyway, I’m not saying I want this to happen, but that is what I expect to happen in November. If the Republicans lose 24 seats in the House, they’ll be hitting the mean. The average loss of the president’s party in the first midterm after he takes office is 31. Reagan took a hit like that in the House during his first midterm–and went on to take every state in country except one two years later.

    5. The polling is certainly pointing in the direction of a GOP wipeout this November, and the Republican establishment earned every bit of it. But the idea that it’s anti-Trump sentiment rather than anti-Republican leadership isn’t supported by the polls. Trump polls a lot better with Republicans than the GOP Senate does.


      I’ve seen several pieces of how Trump has killed the party.

      No blame is placed on a party that campaigned for SEVEN YEARS on repealing Obamacare…then refused to do so when they had an actual chance to do so. They campaigned on ending Obama’s illegal immigration policy…then attack Trump for doing what they said they wanted done for years.

      The GOP will lose because they deserve to lose.

  13. Shocked to see comment section completely full of defenders of this wannabe authoritarian regime. I used to have respect for libertarianisn, even in disagreement.

    1. Even wannabe authoritarian regimes should be granted the presumption of innocence until evidence or a crime beyond a reasonable doubt is presented. Partisan shitwads apparently have a hard time with that.

      1. Pretend Obama is president and say that again and see if you can stop yourself from wincing.

    2. The fact that he’s an authoritarian doesn’t mean that those seeking to replace him aren’t authoritarians as well.

      1. Let’s not forget that those people are doing what they’ve been doing in service to Hillary.

        Talking about ‘authoritarianism’ in that context is fucking ripe.

    3. “this wannabe authoritarian regime”

      I mean you can’t just say dumb shit and expect people to just accept it at face value. In what way has the administration been anymore authoritarian than all the previous administrations of the 21st Century?

      1. How is the question on comparative authoritarian quality between administrations relevant to the statement you quoted?

        1. So if he is, that makes it okay for the other side to be the same?

          “It is okay as long as my side does it” is a hell of a way to be a Lbiertarian.

        2. For one, it might actually hint at a definition of “authoritarian” to work with. As it stands, people are just throwing the word out there without meaning anything. So, comparing the current administrations to others of recent times would at least provide some sort of context to base discussion on.

          But if you or others would prefer just throwing out meaningless buzzwords, so be it.

    4. But not shocked enough to consider the possibility that you’re wrong.

    5. Assigning the comment section of Reason to libertarianism is a terrible idea.

      1. You sure as hell are not. So there is that.

    6. ” wannabe authoritarian regime.”

      Yeah, he’s rolling back all those Obama era regulations in order to expand his power.

      We get rid of Trump by not voting for him next time, and if that fails it’s just four more years until he’s gone.

      Meanwhile, exactly how do we remove all these entrenched, un-elected paragons of dishonesty and partisanship within the Federal bureaucracy?

      1. Pitchforks and torches?

        Funny, because it’s (metaphorically) true.


    7. Doubtful, but your concern trolling is appreciated.

  14. They’re nervous they’ll be accused of partisanship. Gowdy is just sick of everyone lying to him

  15. Seems that the only thing that the DC Denizens are expert at is Knicker Knotting.

  16. i agree Welch is loosing it !

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