The highly anticipated report of the Special Counsel will not be all that some have hoped for. Robert Mueller has shown a willingness to defer not only to the internal Justice Department memo stating a sitting President can’t be indicted but also his mandate to focus on Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election and possible involvement by the Trump campaign. There is the caveat that he can investigate, “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” To the chagrin of many, Mueller won’t be bringing charges on the money laundering, fraud, foreign bribes, and other unrelated crimes that turn up under every rock Trump has touched along his life journey.
The Mueller report will certainly have highlights. Within his narrow scope, he will detail the interactions with the Trump campaign with Russians ranging from President Putin to the Russian mob. The list of his family and associates that have had secret dealings with Russia, and lied about them, is already long. We’ll learn much more than has already been reported. Whether that is enough to convince Republican Senators to vote to impeach Trump will still be in doubt given that they know these things to be true already and look the other way.
The contents of the Mueller Report will be scandalous, directly point out the treasonous behavior of the President of the United States and most of his family. It will list crimes that some will dismiss as “process crimes,” newly defined as crimes we’re willing to overlook because they inconveniently involve someone we like. The report will detail criminal behavior that is already built into their political consideration because the general information has been available for so long.
The real damage to come from the Mueller Report will not be from the body of the report, but from the footnotes. And if you’ve seen any of the documents publicly released by Mueller’s team. They’re some footnote writing sons (and daughters) of guns. The footnotes will detail what became of all the criminal behavior uncovered that Mueller chose not to retain for the Special Counsel to prosecute. We’ll see familiar names like Michael Cohen who was referred out to the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and ultimately pleaded guilty to eight felony counts not brought by Mueller. The charges against Cohen stemmed from the review of his financial documents which revealed things like the Campaign Finance Violations involving payments fro Donald Trump to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. Review of Cohen’s finances revealed crimes he wasn’t even charged with including acting as an Unregistered Foreign Agent. Keep in mind, Robert Mueller has seen all of Donald Trump’s finances.
Various court documents involving Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, and others have been heavily redacted when released to the public because of their impact on “continuing investigations.” Rick Gates has his sentencing postponed because of his continuing assistance in “several” investigations as well. Although the Special Counsel is winding down his personal involvement and that of his staff. The footnotes will enshrine the crimes uncovered by Trump, et al, and what is being done in response.
The footnotes will tell us of all the referrals, some of which haven’t yet resulted in indictments, and some that perhaps never will. There is no way to look at Trump’s finances and not find money laundering, bank fraud, payments to women not yet identified (Steve Bannon suggested hundreds) and the crime that brought down Al Capone; tax fraud. Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Erik Prince, and others have lied to Congress. Crimes which Mueller might yet charge himself and turn over to others for prosecution. Trump’s multiple instances of Obstruction of Justice will be outlined for all to see.
While part of the report may never be revealed to the public due to national security or editing by Attorney General William Barr. The President may claim Executive Privilege to keep some parts of the findings secret. There can be no legitimate excuse to keep from Congress the footnotes indicating actions taken by the Special Counsel to refer cases to other jurisdictions. It will be a roadmap of criminal behavior will fuel House Investigations for the rest of the Trump Presidency, and it will all become public. Those Republican Senators will face questions on a daily basis about their willingness to overlook the criminal behavior of the President and his family, while eventually a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charge is levied against The Trump Organization. Those Senators will have to defend their equivalent of siding with the mob, siding with Trump will no longer be a viable option. The law defines 35 specific acts as constituting racketeering. Trump has to be good for at least 30 of them.