On the Mueller Investigation, Wait and See

Very few people actually know what he has. Most of the current conversation is pre-game spinning.

I have no idea what Robert Mueller is going to reveal with his report and very few other people know either. I have long thought we would not find that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election. I do not believe the President is some sort of agent for Moscow as the most fevered dreams on the left would have us believe.

What I have long thought is that the President never expected to become President and used his campaign to enrich himself personally, expand his property portfolio, and otherwise reward friends and influence people. That seems to be where we are headed with a side branch of the investigation revealing some conservative grifters were willing to work with Russians to hurt the Clintons.

The Michael Cohen situation seems to suggest that the President was trading on his campaign and nomination to advance his business interests. I suspect we will find that the Trump Organization has some serious financial issues and I have long wondered if it might have been used as a conduit for Russian oligarchs to launder their money. I have no idea and we will see.

Right now, however, we know very little. The advanced speculation is mostly spin to set the narrative upon reveal. The Presidents' spinners have worked first to claim there was no there there, now they are working to say it was no big deal.

The left too has gone from "he's a Russian agent" to doubling down on Russia stealing the election.

About the only thing certain right now is that Bob Mueller is potentially doing the conservative movement a great favor by exposing and, in some cases, jailing the grifters and charlatans who have invaded the conservative movement.

Comments
No. 1-9
Ron Black
Ron Black

For those of you who missed the subtlety, it's worth underscoring just how this scam of Trump's worked:

  1. Trump wants a Trump Tower Moscow, which would be the biggest deal of his life, and potentially bail him out of financial ruin.

  2. Given the sanctions on Russia, Trump would not be allowed to do this deal, hence Trump needed to win the presidency (which he was trying to do but way behind) so he could reverse the sanctions.

  3. The same man in Russia is working on both the Trump Tower deal and working on the US political influence op, which included the theft of DNC data and emails (people forget that the Russians stole far more than just emails). Which makes sense, since these two projects are tied together.

  4. Then the Russians get caught by the FBI in June of 16', and stop what they are doing, HOWEVER...

  5. Putin and the Russians now have Kompromat on Trump. They know what Trump and his team did was illegal and politically devastating, so they do... what they always do with Kompromat.

  6. Accordingly, Trump does everything in his (thankfully checked) power as president to help Putin, including trashing NATO, smearing and firing key counter-intelligence personnel within our government (viz. Strozck et. al.), etc. He makes a fool of himself at Helsinki and places Putin's gift, a World Cup mini-trophy, in the Oval Office even though he doesn't like soccer and the Americans weren't even in that competition. He then proceeds, inexplicably and to the detriment of his political standing, to praise and show fealty to Putin.

  7. When the investigation starts, Trump knows exactly what is going to happen, and starts a systematic campaign to kill the investigation, including firing Comey and everybody Comey talked to, firing key counter-intelligence officers, firing the most pro-Trump AG anybody can possibly imagine (Jeff Sessions), placing stooge in his places and gaining intel from that stooge, and dangling pardons in front of witnesses in order to get them to keep their mouths shut.

  8. At every turn, Trump and those around them show that they know their conduct is criminal because they continually lie to the FBI, Congress, and so forth.

  9. The deeper the investigation gets, the more Trump is compromised with respect to Putin--the more Putin has on him.

I can't stress this enough: Putin has known every truth we have learned so far, and every truth we will be learning from the investigation in the near future. It will come as news to Americans but not Putin and the Russian regime, who have known about all of this for a year and a half.

Steve Bannon called this treason. I don't agree with Mr. Bannon too often, but that's what this is.

Veritasenvitas
Veritasenvitas

This is the way all prosecutors work. They use their prosecutorial powers to subpoena, then they question folks close to the investigation. People lie and get caught lying then they get rolled up in the investigation and roll over on co-conspirators. Some of the greatest prosecutors in criminal justice history have used this process to get the kingpin. Justice is blind or should be! If you are dumb enough to lie to the prosecutor to protect your boss then you should pay the price. Tell the whole truth. Avoid the perjury trap but these people are as accustomed to lying as they are to breathing air! Like Erick I think the election is not the point. The point is that Trump has been laundering money for the Russians. I also believe that he has violated the emoluments clause in a blatant and stunning way!

Steely Tom
Steely Tom

As unsatisfactory as it sounds, Erick Erickson makes the most important, indeed only relevant, assessment we can make about the state of Mueller's investigation.

And consider: The person he is investigating shows unremitting hostility to him and threatens to shut down the investigation. All the more reason Mueller will zealously guard against leaks and keep his strategy close to his vest.

The Andy McCarthys of the world think the investigation can be compared to a drug deal-- why hasn't the conspiracy, if any, been made fully public yet? Because Trump would've ousted Mueller if Mueller had made such a disclosure three or six or eight months ago.

DavidMKern
DavidMKern

@ForAllAmericans

Rosenstein’s letter appointing Mueller had three primary mandates:

i. any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and

ii. any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

iii. (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

I quoted the first mandate verbatim in my comment. You are correct in pointing out item ii, which I don’t deny.

However, the point is that none of the charges Mueller has announced have anything at all to deal with Trump’s “links and/or coordination” to the Russia government. Instead, Mueller has only announced charges for crimes unrelated to the primary mandate, and is strictly focused on the secondary mandate.

In a September 7 National Review article, Andrew McCarthy made the following point about Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller:

The regulations under which he made the appointment require (a) a factual basis for believing that a federal crime worthy of investigation or prosecution has been committed; (b) a conflict of interest so significant that the Justice Department is unable to investigate this suspected crime in the normal course; and (c) an articulation of the factual basis for the criminal investigation — i.e., the investigation of specified federal crimes — which shapes the boundaries of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

Consequently, after 561 days, what is the “factual basis for believing that a federal crime worthy of investigation or prosecution has been committed,” if the only charges Mueller has made had nothing to do with his primary mandate?

Alan Dershowitz and Mark Penn are certainly not part of the classic Pro-Trump base. But they have written recent articles questioning Mueller’s abuse of prosecutorial powers to get Trump for political reasons that have nothing to do with his primary mandate.

Penn (and others) have pointed out that Mueller’s team includes “Andrew Weissmann as the stop-at-nothing pit bull and a group of Democratic-leaning lawyers, including some who have represented the Clintons.”

Even if one ignores the issue of political partisanship, “if you (or any other reader) have a “factual basis for believing that a specific federal crime has been committed by Trump,” why don’t you do the Mueller investigation a favor and post the specified crime and a factual basis for investigating it. If not, perhaps you should admit Mueller is running a fishing expedition?

JASmius
JASmius

This latest revelation makes it pretty clear that it wasn't just a case of Trump seeking to corruptly enrich himself or just a case of election collusion, but that both were involved in an epic quid pro quo. One where the Russians, having propped up Trump financially for years and knowing how desperately and long he had wanted to expand his "brand" into their country, strung him along on that and offering dirt on his general election opponent in exchange for tilting U.S. foreign policy in their favor (e.g. softening the pro-Ukraine plank in the GOP platform) once elected. In short, a con job worthy of Trump himself. And he and his "organization" fell for it through a combination of amorality, corruption, and incompetence that left him, and them, shall we say, "compromised". Or exactly the kind of shady scam in which Trump has engaged for years, only this time under orders of magnitude more public scrutiny. And now it's all inexorably being exposed.