By Steve Neavling
The FBI raid on the law office and hotel room of Donald Trump’s personal attorney has spurred the White House to build a case for firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is the biggest obstacle standing in the way of president pulling the plug on the special counsel investigation.
The plan involves Trump’s allies attacking Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller in May and is overseeing the probe, to avoid the appearance that Trump is obstructing the investigation, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Rosenstein’s firing is “a matter of when, not if,” one person who spoke with Trump said.
The plan to discredit Rosenstein comes after the deputy attorney general signed off on the FBI’s seizure of records between Trump and his longtime attorney Micahel Cohen on Monday.
Removing Rosenstein would allow Trump to replace his deputy attorney general with an ally willing to fire Mueller, a move reminiscent of President Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” in which he fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973. The bold decision prompted Congress to begin talking about impeachment.
In private conversations, Rosenstein said he’s aware his firing may be imminent and that he’s at peace with it because he chose integrity over blind loyalty to the president, NBC News reported.