With the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Prosecutor, we now have three major investigations in progress vis a vis Russia’s interference in our election and team Trump. While the probes by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees are relatively narrow in their scope, Mueller is under no significant constraints. Rather, his appointment carries with it the freedom to follow all leads, no matter where they might take him. The remainder of this blog will be devoted to citing and discussing the investigative “avenues” that the Special Prosecutor has already started to travel.
I. Russia’s election meddling
This past January, our Intelligence Community made public its general finding having to do with the allegation that Russia interfered with our election. The consensus was that had indeed happened and that those activities were aimed at helping Trump and hurting Clinton. Mueller may have some tidying up to do here, but he is sure to segue to the next topic of intense interest.
II. Collusion between the Russian interference and the Trump administration
Did one or more associates of 45, or 45 himself, wittingly or unwittingly, provide any sort of help to Russia in the meddling process? If evidence points unambiguously to an affirmative answer, then whomever aided the Russians is in danger of being charged with treason, and Trump’s administration would be badly tarred in the process. Guilt by association with the culprit would be unavoidable.
III. Obstruction of justice
As the aforementioned investigations have edged closer to probing topic II above, Trump has apparently taken steps to impede their progress. Specifically, he is reported to have made requests to high-ranking officials like former FBI Director James Comey that seem aimed at either absolving him of guilt or turning attention away from one or more of his associates; e.g. Michael Flynn.
This effort to protect Flynn has not been confined to Trump. While largely unnoticed, it also seems that VP Mike Pence has made at least two and possibly three false statements, the intent of which was apparently to shield the Trump administration from any negative publicity associated with the choice of Flynn as Advisor on National Security.
IV. Treasonous behavior independent of election collusion
Up until very recently, the possibility of treasonous behavior occurring free of Russia’s election meddling has received scant attention. But, it is now known that in Virginia, a grand jury has been impaneled to examine the legality of financial dealings involving associates of 45 and the Russians. Even if nothing treasonous is eventually found here, one or more cases might be made for illegal financial dealings with Russians, a major topic we turn to last.
V. Financial illegalities
In theory, there are two possibilities here: tax evasion, but more significantly, the laundering of money gained through criminal enterprise. Investigative work here is just getting started so there is little that can be said on this topic now.
Is it always true that “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”? No, because heat can cause smoldering and smoke without conflagration. Much remains to be discovered and made public before a step like impeachment can be given serious consideration. Right now, it seems best to stay attentive and to thank God that we have a free press that continues to do an outstanding job of keeping us abreast of the latest developments, try as 45 might to create an alternative, fact-free counter-narrative.