Categories
Corruption Crime Trump-Russia

Robert Mueller’s Next Move In The Russia Probe: Indicting The Trump Children

In August, month, it was reported that President Trump was deeply concerned his son, Don Jr., might have serious legal exposure because he had agreed to meet with Russian operatives at Trump Tower back in June of 2016:

“Trump has been concerned for months now that the Mueller probe could reach his family, and potentially his son-in-law Jared Kushner, but his focus has turned to his namesake in recent weeks, one person who speaks with Trump frequently tells CNN. This is one of several reasons Trump has upped his public attacks on Mueller, because he doesn’t want him touching his family, the person adds.”

But it now appears that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, and the New York state attorney general may also be interested in issuing indictments against Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka Trump.


As Rachel Maddow pointed out recently on her show, the three eldest Trump children are especially vulnerable when it comes to the Trump Foundation, where they serve on the board of directors. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has already filed a civil lawsuit against the foundation for questionable activities:

“[Underwood] forwards all this evidence that she gathered to the IRS for them to investigate as a potential criminal tax matter. She forwards it to the Federal Election Commission, for them to investigate as a potential set of criminal campaign finance violations. She CC’s it to the Public Integrity Division at the U.S. Justice Department. And within New York state, the state tax department starts investigating that evidence as well — as laid out by Barbara Underwood to see if, in addition to the civil lawsuit, there should be a state criminal referral against the Trump Foundation, and President Trump personally, and each of his three eldest children personally.”

Imagine the leverage Mueller would have if the three Trump children were suddenly under the threat of prosecution. He might even offer the president an alternative: Resign immediately and the charges against your children go away. Otherwise, it’s full steam ahead.

No matter where he turns, Donald Trump can feel the water rising around him. He can either stay and try to swim against the tide, or he can cut his losses and attempt leave office with a shred of dignity. Otherwise, he endangers himself and his entire family.

Categories
Russia Investigation Trump-Russia

Russia Is Using Social Media To Help Get Kavanaugh On The Supreme Court

Just last month, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats warned that Russia would indeed be trying to interfere with the upcoming midterm election, commenting:

“We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States. The President has specifically directed us to make the matter of election meddling and securing our election process a top priority.”

But we now know that not only is Russia working to sow discord as the November election draws closer, they’re also using social media to actively support the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.


Twitter has been lighting up over the past 24 hours, and Hamilton 68 — which tracks Russian influence operations online — notes that Kavanaugh’s name appears prominently in several of the top hashtags:

Hamilton 68 is a project of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, and they’ve also noticed that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who went nuclear Thursday during the testimony of Judge Kavanaugh and attacked his Democratic colleagues — is suddenly receiving lots of mentions on social media, too:

 

What does this all mean? Does Russia actually care who gets appointed to the Supreme Court? They might, especially since Kavanaugh has taken a very expansive view of how far presidential powers reach and could be willing to protect Trump from Special Counsel Robert Mueller if the issue comes before the high court.

And even if the Russians don’t care who winds up on the court, they do want to see the United States divided and at war with itself. That accomplishes their goal of destroying us without firing a shot, as Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev once threatened.

The larger issue, however, is the fact that Donald Trump seems to have cast his lot with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in order to win the 2016 election. And now he has no choice but to do whatever Putin demands of him. That alone makes this president a national security threat the likes of which we have never seen in this country.

h/t PoliticsUSA

Categories
Corruption Crime Trump-Russia

Mike Pence Set To Be Robert Mueller’s ‘Star Witness’ Against Trump: Report

It would appear that much like it was in Watergate, the big question in the Russia probe will be: What did the president know, and when did he know it?

But another question that is already being asked by investigators on the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team involves Vice President Mike Pence: What did he know, and when exactly did he know it?

In what may well wind up being one of the greatest instances of perfect political irony, it appears that Pence could well wind up being Mueller’s star witness when it comes to obstruction of justice charges against Trump.

Investigative journalist Murray Waas has just written a provocative article for The New York Review of Books, noting that Pence, along with White House counsel Don McGahn and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, went to Trump in February of 2017 to let him know that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had to go because of his connections to Russia:

“New information suggests that Vice President Pence could prove to be a crucial witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice. As a participant in crucial meetings that led to Flynn’s firing, Pence has vital information for investigators that can shed light on these questions.”


Keep in mind that Pence was chairman of the transition team, meaning that he had to approve Flynn to serve as national security adviser. He did, and he later came to regret that decision. But if the vice president wants to survive the coming firestorm from the Russia investigation, he has no choice but to cooperate with Mueller. And should he decide to dig in his heels, he can still be subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. If he lies there, perjury charges will be filed against him.

All of this makes Pence perhaps the most essential witness Mueller has as he proceeds with his investigation, Waas notes:

“The vice president is clearly the single most important witness to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the president of the United States obstructed justice who has yet to be heard from.”

Of course, Pence also has a selfish motive: He wants to be president and thinks he’s ordained by God hold that office one day. In other words, an ambitious man who appears slavishly loyal may wind up being Donald Trump’s worst enemy.

Categories
Corruption Crime Trump-Russia

Trump Thinks He Can End The Mueller Probe By Firing Rod Rosenstein – He’s Wrong

On Monday morning, for a few tense minutes, it seemed like Donald Trump was about to exercise a show of presidential power by summoning Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to the White House and having Chief of Staff John Kelly fire Rosenstein as the first step of shutting down the Russia investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

As it turned out, Rosenstein was only at the White House for a meeting with Kelly, and we later learned that Trump will meet with the Deputy AG on Thursday, September 27 when it’s widely believed he will personally dismiss Rosenstein and replace him with a more pliable (i.e. obedient) overseer of the Russia probe.

But even if Trump does give Rosenstein the boot, it turns out he can’t actually end the Mueller investigation.

Martin London is a retired former partner at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and in an article he wrote for Time, London says the case being compiled by Mueller’s team of investigators is too far along to be derailed:

“The more important reason to not fire Rosenstein, though, is that getting rid of him may not solve Trump’s Mueller problem. Mueller has by now put together a huge dossier of his findings, some of which may jeopardize not only Trump, but members of his family. What that means is: firing Mueller will not make his investigation go away.”


How so? As London goes on to explain, even if Mueller is somehow pushed out, that wouldn’t eliminate the ongoing cases being built by U.S. Attorneys in states such as New York or the attorney generals of various states who have been handed cases by the special counsel:

“Mueller has already referred several cases — on Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, alleged unregistered Russian agent Maria Butina and 12 Russian intelligence officers — respectively to federal prosecutors in New York, the U.S. attorney in D.C. and the Justice Department’s National Security Division. There is no reason to believe Mueller wouldn’t share his intelligence with all relevant possible prosecutors if the investigation was threatened before its end.”

Also, if Trump does fire Rosenstein and then moves against Mueller — especially before the midterm election — he all but guarantees he will be impeached by the next Congress, which will likely contain a lot more Democrats who are eager to make their careers by ridding this country of Donald J. Trump.

Bottom line: Trump is screwed no matter what he does, and the only person to blame is the one he sees when he looks in the mirror.

Categories
Crime Trump-Russia

NEW INFORMATION Shows What That 2016 Trump Tower Meeting Was Really About

When it was first reported that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman had a meeting at Trump Tower in June of 2016 with Russian nationals who have connections to the Kremlin — including a former Russian intelligence officer — the White House tried to downplay the entire matter, suggesting the meeting had been about adoption.

Later, however, it was revealed that the meeting had actually been scheduled because the Russians had promised to provide “dirt” on Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and the president asserted that any campaign would have done the same thing in order to obtain information that would benefit them.

Now, however, thanks to a new interview with Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who arranged the now infamous get-together, it seems that one of the main reasons for the meeting which has placed members of the Trump family in legal jeopardy with Special Counsel Robert Mueller is because two sons of rich fathers wanted to impress their daddies.

In an extensive and wide-ranging with NBC News, Goldstone said:

“It’s like they [Don Jr. and Emin Agalarov] did it for daddy, both of them.”

It should be noted that Goldstone has been questioned extensively by investigators from the Mueller team and also appeared before a federal grand jury.


Goldstone also blew a giant hole in the president’s claim of not knowing about the meeting, commenting:

“It was taking place in his conference room and it was taking place with his campaign chair sitting and attending the meeting, as well as his son and his son-in-law. So, you know, the publicist in me would say, ‘It’s a bit of a stretch if he’s a floor or two above to believe that he doesn’t know it’s going on.'”

Whatever the motivation was for the meeting, Goldstone also revealed what Mueller’s grand jury wanted to know, and the details will be particularly alarming to the White House and members of the Trump family:

“They asked a lot of questions about my connection to the Trumps, Trump’s connection to the Agalarovs, [Russian oligarch Aras] Agalarov’s connection to the Kremlin, Trump’s connection the Kremlin, to the Agalarovs.

“They seemed most interested in why this meeting may have come about and why the Agalarovs may have wanted it, [and] also two follow-up requests for meetings.”

So when it’s all said and done, when all the indictments have been unsealed by Robert Muller and a report issued to Congress, one of the main reasons the entire scandal began may well wind up being because Donald Trump Jr. was trying desperately to earn his father’s approval. How pathetic is that?