The White House Has Declared War on the FBI

Ron Sachs/CNP via ZUMA

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged “at least one person” in connection with the Russia investigation, which is surprisingly quick work for a special counsel. So who is it? The speed of the action suggests to me either (a) it’s a fairly minor character or (b) it’s a major character whose actions were so obviously illegal that it didn’t take much time to build a case. The former would be folks like Carter Page. The latter would be folks like Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn.

At the moment, the only hint we have comes from the reaction of Team Trump. They must have had some inkling about what was coming, because for the past week they’ve gone nuclear. Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy are already mounting smokescreen investigations of Uranium One and the Steele dossier. The dossier investigation is an attempt to show that Democrats are the real Russia patsies, while the Uranium One investigation is part of an effort to discredit Mueller. Here’s White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the dossier:

And here’s Fox News providing the conservative spin on Uranium One:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is facing a fresh round of calls from conservative critics for his resignation from the Russia collusion probe….[Congressional investigators] are looking into a Russian firm’s uranium deal that was approved by the Obama administration in 2010 despite reports that the FBI — then led by Mueller — had evidence of bribery involving a subsidiary of that firm.

….“The federal code could not be clearer — Mueller is compromised by his apparent conflict of interest in being close with James Comey,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who first called for Mueller to step down over the summer, said in a statement to Fox News on Friday. “The appearance of a conflict is enough to put Mueller in violation of the code.…All of the revelations in recent weeks make the case stronger.”

Trump himself, of course, has been all over this:

Nancy LeTourneau has a roundup of the whole thing here if you have the stomach for more. But the bottom line is simple: The White House, congressional Republicans, and the right-wing media are basically all hands on deck right now. The panic is almost palpable. This suggests that Mueller may have charged someone like Flynn, who’s pretty closely connected with the Trump administration. That’s my wildass guess at the moment, anyway.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.