He finally got rid of Jeff Sessions—but Donald Trump’s life is about to get much harder.
Trump’s move against Sessions today arrives at a moment when Trump allies are increasingly concerned about Donald Trump Jr.’s legal exposure. In recent days, according to three sources, Don Jr. has been telling friends he is worried about being indicted as early as this week. One person close to Don Jr. speculated that Mueller could indict him for making false statements to Congress and the F.B.I. about whether he had told his father about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians to gather “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. This source had heard that the case could revolve around Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, who’s cooperating with Mueller and who was deeply involved in the campaign at the time of the meeting. Trump, this person continued, is “very upset” about the risks Don Jr. faces. “The president is very depressed,” this person said. (“Don never said any such thing, and there is absolutely no truth to these rumors,” said Don Jr.’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas.)
As the West Wing confronts fallout from Mueller’s next moves, Trump is also facing a vastly altered political environment in which the Democrats are poised to aggressively investigate the executive branch. “Trump is thinking about it two ways. No. 1, what could they release about me? And No. 2, how does it work politically for me?” a Republican briefed on the president’s thinking said. Inside the White House, there’s a debate about how to deal with Democrats controlling the House. Some advisers fear the White House is not set up to defend itself against the onslaught of hearings. “I would be very concerned about the House investigations,” a former West Wing official said. “I think everyone is worried,” one Republican close to the president told me.
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