Thursday, May 17, 2018

Closing In, Not Closing Time

Special counsel Robert Mueller launched his investigation into Russia's role in influencing the 2016 elections exactly a year ago. The investigation began against the backdrop of James Comey's firing, and of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurring that Russian meddling occurred and was aimed at helping Putin loyalist and demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump. Since then, the investigation has resulted in 22 companies and individuals charged, 75 criminal charges brought, 5 guilty pleas and 1 person sentenced. As the investigation works up the food chain to Rump himself, he is increasingly manic about his, and his corrupt family's, legal jeopardy. While an innocent man would welcome a thorough investigation to clear him, Rump raged against the investigation today, again calling it a "witch hunt" (despite lots of "witches" being charged):
One of the most consequential -- and public -- moves by Mueller was his decision to spin off information he'd uncovered that was outside the scope of his investigation dealing with Rump fixer and Russian mob friend Michael Cohen to the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York. That's led to a surge in the prominence of the Stormy Daniels lawsuit, and more significantly, disclosures about Cohen's (and potentially Rump's) pay-to-play connections with corporations having business before the Government and with Russian oligarchs. Most recently, evidence that Rump submitted false financial statements will open up another legal can of worms for the demagogue.

It's often -- and correctly -- said that we only know a fraction of what the Mueller team has discovered and is pursuing. That's why any premature ending of the investigation is a fantasy that Rump and his discredited minions -- with their consciousness of guilt -- is desperate to push. He also knows what he's done, and it's eating away at him.

(photo: Alex Wong/Chip Somodevilla, Getty. Hearing those footsteps.)

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