Mueller Has a Roadmap and the End Game Is Nigh
Trump appears to be coming totally unglued over the last three or four days. Cable news shows and newspaper editorial pages were overcome with distress over Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior. There were reports that in private conversations with aides, Trump had returned to questioning President Obama’s citizenship. He was said to deny the voice on the Access Hollywood pussy-grabbing tape was his — this after apologizing for his comments on the tape during the campaign. He was said to brag constantly about his many “successes,” which aren’t apparent to any vertical human with a functioning prefrontal cortex, and the fact that he won a majority of women’s votes in last year’s election, which he didn’t.This produced dueling theories among analysts: One theory had him completely “divorced from reality.” “The truth is worse,” said the Washington Post, positing a theory that Trump was brilliantly creating an organized plan of so many lies nobody could possibly follow it, thus discrediting reality itself and the mainstream media along with it.
Mueller is asking Sean Spicer what the president told him before he faced the press every day and lied over and over again, saying that there had been no contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians. Mueller is asking former chief of staff Reince Priebus what the president told him about why he fired FBI Director James Comey. Mueller is asking former campaign aide Papadopoulos whom in the Trump campaign he informed about his contacts with Russians who promised “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and told him they had “emails” belonging to Clinton and the Democratic Party. He’s asking former National Security Council executive secretary Keith Kellogg what was done by his compatriots to help House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes gather his “intercepts” in the White House that supposedly proved that Trump’s “wires were tapped.” Mueller is going to ask Hope Hicks and Jared Kushner and others what was said on Air Force One the night that Trump came up with the absurd excuse for the Trump Tower meeting with four Russians — that it was all about “adoption.” Mueller is going to ask Jared Kushner and White House counsel Don McGahn about the letter that Trump and Kushner cooked up one night at Trump’s New Jersey golf course justifying the firing of James Comey.
At this point, with the cooperation of George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn underway, only a few questions remain to be answered. Flynn can answer most of them. He was on the Trump campaign team early on, joining in February of 2016. He traveled with Trump to nearly every one of his campaign appearances. He was “in the room” with Trump nearly constantly for over a year. I think Flynn knows everything. ABC reporter Brian Ross reported on Friday morning that sources close to the investigation told him that Flynn was going to testify “against Trump, against members of his family, and others in the White House,” and that Trump had “ordered and directed him” to contact Russians he had spoken to.
We already have the answer to what the Russian contacts were about: They were about the emails the Russians had hacked from Democratic Party servers and fed to WikiLeaks. The Trump campaign knew the Russians had the Democrats’ emails as far back as April of 2016 when Papadopoulos learned about them in London and informed his superiors on the Trump campaign. Trump would go on to mention WikiLeaks and the Democrat’s emails more than 160 times in speeches during the final months of the campaign, according to Politifact.
So what charges could Mueller bring against the remaining Trump officials who aren’t already charged, and, most especially, Trump himself? An excellent place to look is 18 U.S. Code § 4 -- Misprision of felony: “Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
The “felony” that was committed was theft of the Democratic Party emails by the Russians. We already know that no one on the Trump campaign reported the theft of the emails to the authorities. Instead, Trump weaponized them against Hillary Clinton by using them more than 160 times to attack his opponent during the campaign. Judging by the Trump people Mueller has questioned, and the nature of the information he is seeking from them, it seems a sure thing that he is looking at charging Trump officials and Trump himself with obstruction of justice in the firing of Comey, and perhaps in the way Trump leaned on the heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency (as well as Comey himself) to end the Russia investigation. On Friday, thanks to the New York Times, we learned that Trump spent the summer calling senators and congressmen on the intelligence committees, asking them to end the Russia investigation.
The atmosphere in the White House on Friday morning, Dec. 1, 2017, must have been eerily similar to the atmosphere in the White House on Friday, Oct. 19, 1973, the morning that White House counsel John Dean pled guilty to one count of obstruction of justice, punishable by five years in federal prison. John Dean would go on to lead the Watergate special prosecutor through a rabbit hole of Watergate corruption, implicating former Attorney General John Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman, all three of whom would eventually join Dean himself behind bars. The very next day, Saturday, Oct. 20, 1973, Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox in the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre.”
So what is Mueller’s end game? Assuming he survives in office and doesn’t suffer his own “Saturday Night Massacre,” I think he’s aiming to indict the president of the United States for multiple felonies. Trump’s lawyers know this. They’ve told him what Mueller’s intentions are. Maybe this explains Trump’s wild-eyed endorsement of child-molester Roy Moore in Alabama, his deranged retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from some British neo-Nazi website, and his surreal resurrection of Obama’s alleged Kenyan birth. He can see the end coming, and it’s driving him crazy. President Donald J. Trump knows that he and his White House are surrounded by investigators, and they are asking questions of literally every single person who worked on the Trump campaign and in the Trump White House. He knows, because John Dowd, an old time D.C. lawyer who has been through the wars of Washington scandals, has told him, that once an investigation like Mueller’s starts, you can’t stop it. Like a house of cards collapsing, you can’t move your hands fast enough to grab enough cards to put it back together. It just keeps coming down until the whole thing is on the floor.
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