Bob Mueller’s white hot summer

President Trump is unlikely to sit by and simply watch Rosenstein move forward with a potentially explosive report. Trump and his lawyers will exert every conceivable pressure on the deputy attorney general. Their goal will be to contain the report; to redact and reduce it; and, at the very least, to delay any release until after the midterm elections.

(Think of the February 2018 controversy over the Nunes memorandum on the Carter Page FISA application, which sailed to the public unredacted by the Trump White House, despite the FBI’s and Intelligence Community’s loudly expressed national security concerns. By contrast, when the minority Democrats tried to release their rebuttal, the Republican majority delayed sending it out and the White House oversaw substantial redactions that rendered the document almost (REDACTED). Expect more of the same here.)

And what if Rosenstein insists on releasing over the president’s objections? Trump will almost certainly fire him, as he has reportedly threatened to do so many times already. Recall, he did not hesitate to fire Comey just over a year ago because of “this Russia thing.” And so Trump may follow the example of Nixon in October 1973 when he ordered the firing of Archibald Cox in the famous Saturday Night Massacre, which also took down the attorney general and deputy attorney general who refused to go along.