Thursday, August 31, 2017

States Rights.....To Prosecute

Yesterday's heartening news won't make wannabe dictator and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump happy. The essence:
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes." (emphasis added)
Eric Schneiderman is a brilliant bulldog of a state attorney general, prosecuting many white collar crimes and organized crime cases (he sued Trump "University" for scamming people and won). The coordination with New York State is important, too, since the campaign was, and Rump's business is, headquartered there, so New York criminal statues apply. As the Politico article notes, Rump's pardoning power only extends to Federal cases, not state cases. So, when Rump pardoned sinister Joe Arpaio, he sent a signal to persons of interest in the Russiagate scandal that he'd use his pardoning power recklessly. Now Special Counsel Mueller is end-running that option for Rump by coordinating with prosecutors at the state level to get leverage over key witnesses like Manafort.

It's interesting to note that the other state jurisdiction that Mueller's likely quietly coordinating with is the Commonwealth of Virginia (where Manafort and others reside), whose Attorney General is progressive Mark Herring, who while not as well known or accomplished as Schneiderman, would cooperate fully with Special Counsel Mueller in pursuing state criminal charges as applicable.

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