Lost in the great swirl of hurricanes inundating the Caribbean and North Korean missile tests unnerving our notions of safety in the nuclear world, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is plodding on with his special counsel investigation into the Russia imbroglio.
To what end?
No one claiming to know knows exactly what he is doing, except that he’s hired up a slew of high priced lawyers and former federal prosecutors to make an end run against the president if it is possible.
However there is the very strong belief held among media experts and those who study the goings on in our government that when Mueller arrives or if and when he arrives at the president’s door asking for information from him personally is the day the president will launch a pre-emptive, controlled, highly damaging attack against North Korea’s ability to nuke us.
The president will do this for three reasons: first, to destroy the North Korean nuclear storage and development sites with clinical attacks that won’t start a peninsula wide all out war as well as to strike the places where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is known to inhabit — quite likely making going out in public an impossibility for the dictator; second, the president will launch the attack to bury the probe and to raise his public image; third, the probe will lose its focus with the national consciousness all wrapped up in the North Korean crisis.
The North Korean’s promising to atomic bomb the US everyday is having a bad effect even on the politically correct who intuitively understand all the diplomacy and sanctions in the world aren’t enough to stop Kim Jong Un.
The president is masterful in his use of the media to dictate the news cycle and to dominate the national media — and the international press.
Yet Mueller plugs on as though he is digging at a Watergate style situation.
The person in the greatest legal jeopardy, given what we know from media reports, is former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, whose home was searched by the FBI. When the bureau executes a search warrant at your home, that means the prosecutor has already convinced a judge that there is good reason to believe a crime was committed and that evidence of that crime was at your house. That’s bad news for Manafort, it was reported in Politico.com.
The same is true of Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who is under scrutiny for failing to disclose income from Russia-related entities. Proving that Flynn lied on a form is much more straightforward than proving an agreement between him and foreigners. Recent news that Flynn’s son is also in Mueller’s sights suggests that the former FBI chief might be developing a case against the son in the hopes that Flynn will cooperate to obtain leniency for his son, which is called “vicarious cooperation.”
The other aspect of Mueller’s investigation that appears to be fairly advanced is his obstruction investigation. We know Mueller is looking at obstruction related to the firing of James Comey for many reasons — most recently, the Justice Department refused to permit a Senate committee to interview two FBI officials who were witnesses on this issue, and when asked about the matter, referred questions to Mueller. This indicates that Mueller believes the FBI officials are potential witnesses. (If Mueller thinks he might use their testimony later, he would want to reduce the risk that potential defendants and their counsel can learn about it in advance. He also doesn’t want to generate inconsistent accounts from witnesses that can be used to undermine them at trial.)
Mueller also has set up interviews with White House officials who were reportedly involved in the decision to fire Comey, and Trump lawyers reportedly sent a memo to Mueller making legal arguments about obstruction and claiming that Comey is not a credible witness. This suggests Trump’s legal team believes Mueller is focused on obstruction. They wouldn’t waste their time otherwise.
Mueller is too smart to bring charges that cannot stand or are unable to reach the point of conviction.
He has his work cut out for himself — but he is working this thing the way the president works his thing.
Our bet is he can’t best the president, or any president facing amorphous, largely made up charges of working with and for the Russian government.