This week, President Trump stirred outrage among both Democrats and Republicans by throwing his support behind the Republican Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore. Six women have come forward to accuse Moore of preying on them sexually when he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s and they were teenagers. Two of the women assert that Moore molested them. Moore has denied the accusations, and Trump has stated that he trusts the denial.
Regardless, both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee have pulled their support from Moore's campaign. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have both declared that Moore should withdraw from the race. The accusations against Moore carry particular weight given the deluge of sexual assault accusations that have shaken Hollywood. Regardless, Trump is unfazed. "We don't need a liberal person in there," he stated, adding that, "we don't need somebody who's soft on crime like [Democratic candidate] Jones." However, while Trump's behavior has agitated a number of Republicans on Capitol Hill, his support among his voter base remains essentially static. Polling continues to demonstrate that almost all of those that voted for Trump would do so again if they were presented the opportunity.
Yet there may be trouble on the horizon for the Trump administration. This week, Michael Flynn's legal team chose to cease communication with the legal team of the President. The New York Times reported Thursday that, "the notification led Mr. Trump's lawyers to believe that Mr. Flynn -- who, along with his son, is seen as having significant criminal exposure -- has, at the least, begun discussions with [special counsel] Mr. Mueller about cooperating." Norman Eisen, who served as White House Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform under former President Barack Obama, followed up by tweeting that, based on his own experience with Mueller, he believes that Flynn may implicate Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and even the President in the ongoing investigation with regard to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. However, another possibility is that Mueller is seeking more incriminating information on Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, who has already been indicted by Mueller. The coming months will reveal what the ultimate outcome of this maneuver will be.
But the coming week has a more immediate legal conundrum. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- the agency responsible for protecting U.S. citizens from predatory practices in the financial sector that was formed in response to the financial crisis 2007-2008 -- is having a crisis in leadership. Under the legislation that created the Bureau, Deputy Director Leandra English should assume the role of director following Director Richard Cordray's resignation on Friday. Yet the Trump administration has announced that Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, will instead helm the Bureau. As of today, both English and Mulvaney have asserted that they mean to carry out the responsibilities of the office. While the result cannot be certain at this time, what is certain is that a legal battle is imminent.