Robert Mueller: Another Thing for Donald Trump to Worry About

The president's bad week continues.–so-little-time—a-part-time-pilot–protester-attacks—trump-russia-bombshells
On Wednesday, President Trump’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named former FBI Director Robert Mueller III as special counsel. Mueller’s been tasked with investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign as well as any matters arising from it, like (and we’re just spitballing here) a possible obstruction of justice. The announcement came after a string of damning stories out of the White House, which probably make this the second-worst week of Trump’s life — right behind the one when he was elected president.

Though they do work under the attorney general, special counsels are afforded a great deal of autonomy. In this particular case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Mueller will instead answer to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. And while Rosenstein is not supposed to exert undue influence upon Mueller’s investigation, he has the power to fire him. Firing him would look bad — and if there’s one thing the Trump White House hates, it’s looking bad.

After Trump found out about the order, his son-in-law and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (a whole other can of worms) reportedly pushed him to retaliate. But the White House wound up putting out this relatively milquetoast statement instead:

“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”

If this seems like an uncharacteristically staid response from Donald Trump, well, it almost certainly wasn’t written by him. The next morning, presumably after gnawing through his restraints to reach his BlackBerry, he took to Twitter with a slightly different attitude:

(Food for thought: Those will be in a textbook some day.)

What happens next is up in the air. Mueller has a reputation as a dogged investigator, and it could be some time before he presents his findings to the public. In the meantime, one thing is certain: Every single day for the foreseeable future, there will be a news dump about something outlandish. Let’s hope Mueller finishes his investigation before our brains all liquefy.