1. Find a way to replace the attorney general
The idea: Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe in March, he is not supervising special counsel Robert Mueller or his team. That means the buck stops with the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein told the House Judiciary Committee Dec. 13 he has seen no reason that would be “good cause” to remove the special counsel and that he has confidence in the investigation.
One way for the White House to shake up the probe is to find a way to replace the attorney general, who is recused, with someone who is not. That person could then exercise more control over the Russia investigation, including nixing some spending by the special counsel, refusing to sign off on interviews of key witnesses or requests for grand jury indictments — or even firing Mueller.
The problem: Sessions is having the time of his life at the Justice Department, and doesn’t want to go anywhere. Earlier this year, he rebuffed efforts to mount a write-in campaign for his old Senate seat in Alabama, and another effort to get him to move over to the Department of Homeland Security.