What the Left Thinks About Brand Leaving

From the Pen [theteam@activist137.peaceteam.net]

Of all the ominous developments this week, none is more so that the sudden, unplanned, planned departure of Rachel Brand as Associate Attorney General from the Justice Department, who would have been next in line after Rod Rosenstein to get an order from Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It reminds us of a mandatory evacuation in the face of a looming fire storm.

Although yet another Republican, as if there aren’t enough of them in the FBI and Justice Department already, Brand had been characterized as someone with legal integrity. That’s the last kind of person Trump wants around.

The extreme right wing blogosphere has been on fire lately with war gaming about manipulating the chain of succession to get someone in who could be counted on to fire Mueller. The latest reports from sources within the White House are that Trump for his own part cannot stop ranting about how much he wants to fire Rosenstein, which would have put Brand next in the firing line.

And Brand, not being a dumb person, and though not having yet been the personal subject of the partisan attacks directed at so many others who did the right thing, could clearly see that they were coming for her too before long. No matter what she did, something approaching half the political world would then permanently hate her guts for the rest of her legal career.

So, naturally Brand jumped at the chance to bail on the high position at the Justice Department she had only held for nine months, to take a cushy superfluous job with that bastion of liberal policy thinking, Wal-Mart. It’s almost as if Wal-Mart paid her off to get her out of there and off the potential hook. It’s kind of like a self-purge.

This means that if Rosenstein were to be forced out, the next person to be called on to go Bork 2.0 would then be current Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who used to Supreme Court clerk for . . .wait for it . . . Scalia.

Frankly, we would not lay odds against Francisco rolling over for dictatorship.

Tactically, Trump would not order Rosenstein to fire Mueller and risk him saying no. Instead, Trump will continue to flop about, much like his fake hair line, for an excuse to just can Rosenstein preemptively, which is what the scam Nunes memo was supposed to enable. And instead, expect a super secret private conversation between Trump and Francisco about whether he can depend on his undying loyalty, which it would surprise us if it has not already happened.

But here’s the thing.

If Mueller is ordered removed he’s not going to just roll over.

NOBODY, no matter how made man they are, can fire Mueller without CAUSE. And if it came to that Mueller would aggressively challenge his removal in court, entirely unlike Archibald Cox in his own Watergate day. Michael Dreeben, the hottest of the hot shot appellate specialists, was put on the Mueller team early for multiple reasons, and this is one of them.

Not only that, Mueller would seek an immediate injunction protecting his collected evidence against any attempt to dispose of it. It would not surprise us either if there were already multiple stashed copies of everything, so easy to do in this digital age, including in the hands of NY Attorney General Schneiderman, who by his plea agreement Flynn was obligated to cooperate with as well, who could continue to pursue state charges against Trump fully and blissfully immune from his interference or federal pardon power.

Let’s say Francisco was elevated, and all he did was order Mueller to constrict his investigation and wind it down. Suppose all Francisco did was refuse to authorize any more indictments. None of that would constrain Schneiderman from plowing full steam ahead himself, thereby exposing Francisco’s own participation in the conspiracy to obstruct justice.

In short, Mueller will not go quietly.

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