It wasn’t until later that the weirdness of the scene imposed itself on me.
Three of us, two Americans and a Briton, were sitting at a table overlooking the sea, sharing a basket of pappadums and drinking beer and lassi and asking: Will Trump fire Mueller?
We were all old enough to remember the Saturday Night Massacre, 44 years ago, when Nixon fired Attorney General Elliott Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, for refusing to fire Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor.
Cox was fired. Do you remember who, I asked the others, fired him? They didn’t.
It was Robert Bork, the darling of the rightwingers.
Richardson and Ruckelshaus had promised Congress they would not allow interference with the special prosecutor, but Bork had not. So, when it comes down to it, we have no evidence that — absent an explicit promise — any Republican would have had the self-respect or integrity to stand up to a lawless president. When Nixon went shopping for a pliant courtier, he had to take only one step: Bork.
Bork later said he hesitated, not wanting people to think he would do the bidding of an out-of-control president just to keep his job. (He could not have hesitated long.)
No, it wasn’t job security that concerned Americans who believe in representative democracy. It was the supremacy of the law.
Neither Bork nor any other Republicans ever got that, and Bork’s career was made by his lack of a spine.
So, the answer to my question is: Whoever is first in line to be instructed.
Will Trump ask someone to fire Mueller? That’s hard to say. Has he built a wall and forced Mexico to pay for it?
But he needs quite a bit of cooperation on the wall. He needs only one person to cooperate in firing Mueller, and as we just demonstrated, finding that one person in the Republican Party will be the easiest thing in the world.
Will Whiny Baby Donald do it?
I think he will. He never controls his impulses for long, and the motivation is as powerful as Nixon’s.
Nixon was ordered to turn over the White Hose tapes, and he knew what they revealed. Trump is worried that Mueller will look at the finances of the Trump Organization (that is, Trump) and he knows that will reveal, at a minimum, money-laundering.