President Donald Trump may be preparing for a Thursday night massacre, according to worried reports in the media. Trump will meet Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday as rumors swirl that he will resign rather than be fired by the President.
Rosenstein is currently overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His ouster could open the door to ending the probe, which Trump and his allies have called a ‘witch hunt’. Despite a number of confessions and prosecutions, Trump and many Republicans have refused to accept the legitimacy of the probe.
If Rosenstein is fired or resigns, Trump may move to fire Mueller. This may be a form of obstruction of justice and has eerie parallels with Richard Nixon’s firing of special counsel Archibald Cox. Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire Cox. When he refused and resigned. Nixon then ordered the deputy attorney general to fire him. He also resigned rather than carry out the order. But Cox was fired by the next most senior official.
Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre in 1973 hastened the end of his presidency, though Nixon did not resign until the following year. It is unclear whether Republicans would pressure Trump to resign if he carried out a similar operation. Many Republicans have attacked Robert Mueller’s probe and would be glad to see it ended.
Trump will meet Rosenstein on the same day that Christine Blasey Ford appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school. Another woman has come forward with allegations, but Ford’s testimony will be crucial. Trump may fire Rod Rosenstein on the same day Republicans interrogate Christine Blasey Ford.
Thursday will be a crucial day for the Trump presidency. Republicans’ actions this week will determine whether the Supreme Court becomes conservative-led for a generation, while Trump’s actions could decide how his administration ends. This could be the most important week of Donald Trump’s career.