None of This Is Good

Three items of note this afternoon:

1. Chris Strohm and Jennifer Jacobs at Bloomberg: Trump Ordered DOJ to Hire Controversial Former Aide, Sources Say.
Donald Trump personally ordered the Department of Justice to hire a former White House official who was fired after he was caught up in a controversy over the release of intelligence material to a member of Congress, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who left the National Security Council last year, will advise Attorney General Jeff Sessions on national security matters. He was fired from the White House following reports that he had shown House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes classified documents.

...As a matter of policy, the White House generally doesn't approve the rehiring of staff who were fired, aides said. But after it became clear the president wanted Cohen-Watnick on Sessions' staff, the move was approved.
Yikes. It's bad news all around — not only that Cohen-Watnick has been rehired, no less into a position where he'll seemingly be tasked with bullying the Attorney General and obstructing justice, but also that Trump continues to behave like a dictator.

2. Yikes Part 2:

3. And Yikes the Third:


Relatedly, there is reportedly a bipartisan Senate bill working its way out of the Judiciary Committee which would limit Donald Trump's ability to fire Special Counsel Bob Mueller. That seems like it would be a good thing, but I am cautious until I see the text of what's being proposed.

Also, as I noted earlier, Trump seems increasingly to be focused on Rod Rosenstein, who is the person with the power to fire Mueller, rather than on Mueller himself.

I don't suppose it's a coincidence that Senate Republicans want us to believe they're getting their shit together on protecting Mueller and his investigation right as Trump has switched strategies from going after Mueller directly to going after Rosenstein instead.

Prove me wrong, Republicans. I would love nothing more than to have to eat crow for underestimating you.

Convince me there really is a first time for everything.

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