I don’t claim I know how it will turn out.
The president has an enormous amount of power and his flunkies in Congress promise they’re about to end Rod Rosenstein’s bend-don’t-break defense by impeaching him (though Rosenstein and Chris Wray have just thrown more documents out to slow the Republicans).
It’s certainly possible that Trump will make a last ditch effort to undercut the Mueller investigation and that effort will be competently executed and none of the secondary fall-back defenses Mueller has put into place will work.
For now, though, the Trump team seems intent on a delay and discredit strategy, which won’t stave off any imminent steps. So we shall see whether Trump succeeds in undercutting the investigation.
I keep thinking, “that’s why they play the game,” but this is no game.
There are a number of reasons I think Mueller’s investigation is coming to a head. But consider one detail. I’ve long explained that Mueller seems to be building a series of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States indictments that will ultimately incorporate the entire Russian operation (and may integrate the Trumpsters’ international self-dealing as well).
As Mueller’s team has itself pointed out, for heavily regulated areas like elections, ConFraudUs indictments don’t need to prove intent for the underlying crimes. They just need to prove,
(1) two or more persons formed an agreement to defraud the United States;
(2) [each] defendant knowingly participated in the conspiracy with the intent to defraud the United States; and
(3) at least one overt act was committed in furtherance of the common scheme.
Let’s see how evidence Mueller has recently shown might apply in the case of Roger Stone, Trump’s lifelong political advisor.
We already knew that Stone had communications that he did not immediately disclose with Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks. With both, Stone has contributed to and reinforced claims the entities were not Russian operations, though his conversion about the source of the Hillary emails was pretty sudden and curiously timed.
Now we know that in May, Stone had lunch with someone calling himself Henry Greenberg offering dirt on Hillary. His explanation — based only on the texts that Michael Caputo was asked about in a Mueller interview — is not that he didn’t entertain the offer, but that he didn’t take Greenberg up on the offer as made in late May because Greenberg was asking for big money. Both clearly recognized Greenberg as a Russian, therefore a foreigner offering something of value during an election.
Bizarrely, in trying to rebut the import of this exchange publicly, Caputo and Stone are doing nothing more than working the public refs, claiming to assume this was an FBI sting. Mueller knows whether it was an FBI sting, and there’s virtually no way he’d be asking questions about it if it were (particularly if Stone really didn’t take the bait).
In short, Stone has no justification for this he’s willing to offer publicly; instead, he’s just adopting the SpyGate narrative in an attempt to discredit the investigation. And that’s assuming there were no follow-ups or other damning texts that didn’t involve someone willing to leak them to the press.Et cetera. Bottom line, is there is extensive legal evidence against the Trump team, implicating them in serious conspiracy with Russia to sway the US 2016 presidential election.
We will find it all out soon, hopefully.