Within a year of this given date, the Special Prosecutor’s investigation will have been concluded or will be close enough to its end so that clear contours of where it is headed will be apparent to everyone, save for diehard Trump devotees.
With each passing day, it becomes more and more obvious that Mueller has his eye on longtime Trump associate, Roger Stone. There is a slowly growing body of testimony and evidence, that Stone had foreknowledge of what was meant to help his friend; i.e. the public dump by Wikileaks of the e-mails stolen from the DNC. If Stone can be shown to have participated in the dissemination of that illegally obtained property, then he is a co-conspirator and culpable under the law. (1)
A strategic delay
There have been clear signals that the SP has stopped short of taking the final steps in his obstruction of justice case. Conservatives in and out of government have chortled that this is a sign that there was no obstruction and so, Mueller is basically “empty-handed”. This is a serious misreading of the actual state of affairs.
When a prosecutor completes a probe, s/he is obliged to announce that publicly, and to be just as explicit in setting forth the findings, including the naming of persons complicit in criminal activity. Mueller has done neither so his obstruction case remains ongoing. That still begs the question “Why the delay?”
The most plausible, albeit speculative answer (2) is that Mueller is holding back out of concern that if he brings the obstruction case as a “stand alone” and ahead of other crimes, Trump will fire him and end the entire investigation. Hypothetically then, and from a strategic point of view, the SP will come forward with his findings having to do with all crimes, including such things as conspiring with a foreign government to influence our national election, and money laundering as well. Viewed in this way, the obstruction case can be seen as being “piggy-backed” on top of more serious charges.
Place your bets
Where the obstruction case is concerned, look for a minimum of three indictments and the distinct possibility that Trump will be named as an unindicted co-conspirator. (3).
As to money laundering, Manafort will be found guilty while Gates will be found culpable of far lesser charges since he copped a deal with the SP. It would not be surprising if 45 got caught up in this criminal activity as well which harks back to his lying and empty promises about releasing his tax returns. There is something in them that he is determined to hide.
Lastly, there is the matter of conspiring with Russia. Anyone found to have been an unwitting co-conspirator will probably receive a “Get out of jail free” card. That has already happened viz a viz the unnamed US citizens who were referenced in the SP’s indictment of the 13 Russians that tried to shape our election through the use of social media.
In sharp contrast, there will be multiple witting Russian accomplices. A few, like Michael Flynn and George Papadopolous have already cut deals with Mueller and will thus dodge significant jail time. That leaves us with a very short list of willing co-conspirators, and there will be at least two of those.
So again, mark the date. A year from now, let’s see if any of the foregoing predictions have become reality. If they haven’t, watch this space for an apology for jacking up your hopes, but leaving you disappointed.
- If I stole a shipment of something of value and then successfully enlisted you to help me distribute it for a profit, you would be an accomplice. Those hacked DNC e-mails were something of value.
- This line of thinking is indeed speculative because it involves inferences about what is going on inside the SP’s head, something none of us has direct access to.
- There has been a serious debate over whether or not a sitting president can be indicted. Mueller can keep himself out of that by naming Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator if that is warranted by the evidence.