Special Counsel Robert Mueller runs such a tight, professional ship that there are no leaks. Anything that comes out has been the result of people who have been interviewed by his team speaking to reporters, not from Mueller or his team. However, there is one way to discover what has been going on in the investigation into Russia’s attack on U.S. elections and the Trump campaign allegedly conspiring with Moscow.
The brief that Mueller filed is the only source of information directly available to the public. POLITICO’s appellate attorney has peered into those legal documents and has shown what they tell.
POLITICO‘s reporter, Nelson Cunningham, served as a former prosecutor and Senate and White House aide, so he understood the legal complexities and knew how to explain them in English. Previously, he predicted that the special counsel would subpoena Trump.
If that happened, the president would be forced to explain any Russian relationships and his own obstruction of justice. The president would have to disclose:
‘What Trump knew and when he knew it, and what exactly motivated his statements and actions.’
Before Labor Day, Trump’s television attorney, Rudy Giuliani, introduced the public to how POTUS might operate, that he would “move to quash a subpoena.” Then, Mueller’s 18-month-old investigation went silent prior to the midterm elections, as is appropriate.
POLITICO’s people dug into the edge of the investigation to discover that Mueller may have been quietly doing a dance with Trump and his attorneys over a grand jury subpoena. That means, this “secret litigation” could let people know if the man sitting in the Oval Office would, indeed, testify.
The reporter explained that this investigation has been moving with unusual speed:
‘Parties normally have 30 days to appeal a lower court action. The witness here appealed just five days after losing in the district court—and three days later filed a motion before the appellate court to stay the district court’s order. That’s fast. The appeals court itself responded with remarkable speed, too. One day after getting the witness’s motion, the court gave the special counsel just three days to respond—blindingly short as appellate proceedings go. The special counsel’s papers were filed October 1.’
POLITICO noted that at one point there was a glitch caused by “procedural flaw,” but that it was quickly corrected:
‘At this point an unspecified procedural flaw seems to have emerged, and on October 3, the appeals court dismissed the appeal. Just two days later, the lower court judge cured the flaw, the witness re-appealed, and by October 10 the witness was once again before appellate court. Thanks to very quick action of all the judges, less than one week was lost due to a flaw that, in other cases, could have taken weeks or months to resolve.’
Then, Mueller’s team asked for “expedited handling.” This was another example of “accelerated scheduling:”
‘Back before the D.C. Circuit, this case’s very special handling continued. On October 10, the day the case returned to the court, the parties filed a motion for expedited handling, and within two days, the judges had granted their motion and set an accelerated briefing schedule. The witness was given just 11 days to file briefs; the special counsel (presumably) just two weeks to respond; and reply papers one week later, on November 14 (for those paying attention, that’s 8 days after the midterm elections). Oral arguments are set for December 14.’
Perhaps, the public will truly know by December whether Trump will honor a Mueller subpoena. If not, it could go all the way to the Supreme Court, where Trump has a new justice in his pocket.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.