THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE — Although Donald Trump still knows nothing at all about how to govern, somebody in the White House cleverly saw to it that Trump’s Justice
Department has its very own Robert Bork.
In 1972, amateur “plumbers" working for Richard Nixon and the Republican National Committee broke into the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee, eventually leading to Nixon’s impeachment two years later, as well documented in a 2007 movie, Nixon: A Presidency Revealed.
When Nixon told his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, to fire Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, Richardson resigned rather than fire Cox, and Nixon then demanded that Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus do the dirty deed, so Ruckelshaus similarly resigned rather than firing Cox. That left Solicitor General Robert Bork, a Nixon loyalist, to fire Cox, who was replaced by Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski.
Since Trump's Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, had to recuse himself from the desperately needed investigation into Russian meddling in our election, Trump (who thinks he can govern via Twitter) has attacked Rosenstein, even though Rosenstein did Sessions' and Trump’s bidding by coming up with a memo detailing the few faults of FBI Director James Comey.
Trump could fire both Rosenstein and Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller at any time, which would leave Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand as the third in command at the Justice Department (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/16/justice-department-rachel-brand-215270). Before she became Associate Attorney General, Brand served as Chief Counsel for Regulatory Litigation at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; she also taught at the Antonin Scalia Law School, and she is a member of the right-wing Federalist Society, so her loyalty to Trump can be presumed.
So we asked associate solitary reporter Susanna Sherman to interview Brand at her office. “Of course I would pull the trigger and get rid of Mueller, if that’s what the White House wants,” Brand told Sherman.
In her capacity as Associate Attorney General, no doubt it was Brand who changed the government’s position in National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil, a case pending in the Supreme Court. That case addresses whether an employment contract that requires an employee to waive her right to bring a class-action lawsuit against her employer violates the National Labor Relations Act. Last year, the Obama Justice Department weighed in on the side of the NLRB, which had ruled that such arbitration agreements violate federal labor law. But now, the Justice Department sides with Murphy Oil, which argues that they do not.
Elections have consequences.