Donald Trump has done everything he could to end the special counsel’s investigation. The probe into Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential elections and any conspiracy between this foreign government and the Trump campaign have been eating away at the president’s psyche. Now, POTUS’ wish may be coming true.
The FBI has a standard policy of not making news statements prior to an election, with the notable exception of former FBI director James Comey. That means, people involved with Mueller’s investigation have been even quieter than usual — until this news dropped.
It seems Mueller is on the edge of revealing two of the most dynamic parts of his probe after the 2018 midterm elections. The first will answer a key question: was there direct evidence of conspiracy between the president’s 2016 campaign and Russia? The second, did Trump do anything to obstruct justice, according to Bloomberg.
That does not mean the investigation will end. Despite the pressure from the man sitting in the Oval Office, Mueller continues moving at his own pace, which has been remarkably fast compared to other special investigations. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into President Clinton took four years. Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, took nearly two years.
Trump has been threatening to fire Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions ever since the AG recused himself from the Russia probe, and has intimated that Sessions would go after the midterms. The law required Sessions to do so, but the president evidently expected him to break that law.
Should the attorney general go soon, that means the new AG would take over control of the Mueller investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In that event, whomever Trump hires for the job is critical. On the other hand, POTUS might fire Rosenstein.
It appears that the Democrats are set to take over the House in the midterms, and they will most likely set up investigation after investigation. There is also a chance that they could take the Senate. Regardless, Trump will lose the total governing freedom he has enjoyed for the last two years.
Thus far, Mueller has delivered over two dozen indictments or guilty pleas, which is remarkable in itself. He agreed to submit written questions to the president’s attorneys, and the two parties have not entirely ruled out a presidential interview with the special counsel.
Another option would be Mueller getting a grand jury subpoena. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), that does not work. Another alternative would be to take the question to the Supreme Court, which Trump has stacked with two very conservative justices. The last justice, Brett Kavanaugh, has written that he does not believe a sitting president can be subpoenaed.
One hint that things may be wrapping up is that four of Mueller’s 17 prosecutors have returned to their previous DOJ jobs or other positions.
Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, will be sentenced on December 18 for making false statements to the FBI. The former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, finally cracked and turned state’s’ evidence, too. The president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, just spent 50 hours with Mueller.
Then, there is state of New York, which has also been investigating Trump.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.