Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be assembling a strong cast of witnesses for the case of Donald J Trump vs. the United States of America. And Signs are the play is about to begin.
The growing talk whipped up by Trump and his loyal acolytes, broadcast by Fox Cable News and other “lap dog” outlets, that the Mueller Investigation is bogging down, going nowhere and must be ended is suddenly quieted by the conviction of Paul Manafort on eight counts of felonias action. A verdict that has strengthened Robert Mueller’s hand.
Why one juror, just one, prevented conviction on the other ten counts is not important – a Trump supporter, a personal grievance against the prosecution’s presentation and appearance, unable to understand the overwhelming evidence of guilt (aka “not very smart”) – does not detract in any material sense from a Mueller victory that further buttresses the fact that this investigation is legitimate, necessary and proceeding in a most workmanlike fashion.
Mueller’s list of witnesses, seen and perhaps waiting in the wings for starring roles, is impressive.
In addition to James Comey and other actors who encountered Trump from outside of his orbit, let us consider some of the original Trump loyalists we know Mueller has assembled and some we suspect may join his cast.
Begin with Michael Flynn (former National Security Advisor) and George Papadopoulos (former Trump campaign advisor) who both pleaded guilty to criminal conduct and pledged to co-operate with Mueller. It is now said Papadopoulos is trying to find ways to break his bargain with Mueller which, I suppose, would be an unusual sight of a rat running up the hawser from a sinking ship.
But a truly starring witness has emerged in the name of Michael Cohen, Trump’s long time lawyer who once said he would take a bullet for Trump but who now is co-operating with Mueller in turning the gun around. Whereas others may provide Mueller with a drop of water on Trump’s forehead, Cohen is in a position to loose a Niagara Falls on the Donald.
And there are others, including such former friends as David Pecker, the chairman of American Media, Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Pecker has been granted immunity in exchange for giving prosecutors information about Trump’s knowledge of payments to two women who say they had intimate relations with Trump. Before Pecker switched friendships from Trump to Mueller he famously had the Enquirer pay one of the women, Stormy Daniels, a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for exclusive rights to her story so that it would not be published in the Journal or anywhere else.
“Bait and catch,” the technique of buying and thus burying a story is called. But Pecker finds that in his case it is a technique that has caught him.
However, all these other witnesses aside, there are three people I’m particularly interested in just now.
The first is Paul Manafort, convicted, yes, but praised by Trump because so far Manafort does not appear to be co-operating with Mueller.
It is said he is counting on a pardon from Trump. Silly boy. Donald J Trump is not loyal, will not keep his word with anybody, will do only what at the moment his cunning (if ignorant) mind tells him is in his own best interest.
And if it comes to pass that Manafort figures out his hole card is really a worthless Deuce and not the get-out-of-jail free Ace he thinks he has he will flip, he will flip.
The second person I’m interested in is Donald McGann, Trump’s White House Counsel. What did McGann tell Mueller’s team in thirty hours (count them, thirty) of being interviewed beginning last November?
McGann’s personal attorney says McGann did not “incriminate” Trump in his answers to the questions asked. How could that be true? MCGann was in on lots of stuff; the truth of the “goings on” he witnessed may well show Trump to have broken multiple laws?
Did McGann lie under oath? If not, can those two propositions – He saw a lot but nothing he said incriminates Trump – both be true.
McGann can testify to what he personally heard Trump say and what he saw Trump do. And when his testimony is weighed against other evidence of what Trump said and did, the contradictions – or support for a case of wrongdoing, even if unintended – may well be damming.
McGann doesn’t have to incriminate Trump directly in so many words but what he said under oath may well reinforce a case that Donald J Trump is, indeed, a “crook.”
My third “person of interest” as the cops say, is Attorney General Jeff Sessions who has pushed back forcefully and publicly against Trump’s latest assault on him. Sessions has “rolled over” time and time again when Trump attacked and disparaged him publicly for recusing himself from overseeing Mueller’s investigation because of his own involvement in the matter.
But now, well, here is a portion of the Washington Post’s account of Trump’s latest attack on Sessions and how Sessions responded
“Trump, speaking to Fox News Channel, said that Sessions “never took control of the Justice Department” and again faulted him for recusing himself from the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. “What kind of man is this?” the president asked.
Sessions pushed back hours after Trump spoke, saying the Justice Department will not be “improperly influenced by political considerations. I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda….,” said Sessions.
Whoa, horse, could Sessions have had enough?
“Ridden hard” and constantly being “put away wet,” is it possible that Trump’s original war horse would decide to tell Mueller everything he knows? Even at the risk of his own legal jeopardy?
As Sessions surveys his situation he also sees that his Republican “friends” in the Senate who have previously warned Trump not to fire him are beginning to sing a different tune.
Senator Lyndsey Graham says he won’t be surprised if Trump fires Sessions after the fall election since Trump “doesn’t feel comfortable with him” and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who once pointedly told Trump his Committee would not be able to find time to confirm a new Attorney General, says, in fact. he would have time to do it later this year. Just stating a fact, not giving an opinion on what Trump should do, Grassley said.
Keep pushing and humiliating Sessions, President Trump, please keep riding him hard for not protecting you against the law, against your enemies as you believe any loyal servant of yours should.
Of course, the last Attorneys General who did that – John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst – were convicted of crimes in the service of their boss.
Richard M Nixon.
Mitchell was convicted of multiple crimes and spent nineteen months in prison. Kleindienst was convicted of refusing to testify accurately before the Senate (what a break in charging when the charge could have been perjury). He paid a hundred dollar fine and was given a suspended sentence of thirty days in jail.
Now, Trump asks contemptuously of his Attorney General “what kind of a man is this?”
Perhaps, Mr. President, you really don’t want to find out.
Yes, the actors for this play are assembling; the producer carefully writing a libretto of devastating impact for the audience of Americans who love their Country and want to see it “Restored Again.”
Curtain about to go up!