Will Trump Order Mueller Not To Testify? What Happens Next?


Donald Trump has already ordered several of his former and current employees to disobey subpoenas and refuse to testify in Congressional hearings. Some of the hearings didn’t even involve Trump, such as the investigation as to whether KellyAnne Conway violated the Hatch Act with her partisan politicking while performing her official duties.

While he was the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller was a Justice Department employee and therefore part of the Executive Branch. Mueller would be no less susceptible to claims of Executive Privilege than any of the others Trump told not to testify(Don McGhan, Hope Hicks, Wilbur Ross, and William Barr). Some of the claims are preposterous and will surely fail in court, an order to Mueller whether from Donald Trump or the Justice Department would be equally ridiculous. Trump is making clear he doesn’t want Mueller to testify and might order him not to do so.

“Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!”

The average Democrat that has been longing to hear Mueller speak about his report. May expect Mueller to defy any Executive Order and testify anyway. What they may be ignoring is that Mueller already didn’t want to testify and may welcome the excuse to get out of it. Mueller feels his report should stand on its own and previously said in his lone press conference; he hoped it would be his last time speaking on the subject.

It took a subpoena to get Mueller to agree to come and he seems willing to grudgingly do his duty. It remains to be seen if he will be accompanied by multiple lawyers (Hope Hicks had five) including some from the Justice Department whose only job is to object to every question.

The truth is, Mueller can do whatever the hell he wants to. While he may say little beyond what he’s already revealed in his 448-page report. He likely knows a thing or two on a few related subjects and may just be tired of Trump’s tweets? On July 17th we’ll all find out what Mueller is willing to say and whether Trump allows him to say it?

Paul Manafort Goes To Jail

Paul Manafort has a certain sense of style, his fashion sense might not be for everyone, but records show he paid $849,215 to a men’s clothing store in New York. He paid New York tailor Eugene Venanzi almost $100,000 on items including two sports coats made of silk and custom cashmere at $8,500 each, along with several $7,000 suits. Over six years he paid $520,440 to a Beverly Hills clothing store. In his several court visits, he was always well-groomed and properly accessorized. As of today, he’s forsaking his tailored suits for a prison uniform as a Federal Judge ordered him jailed while awaiting trial based on his attempts to contact and influence witnesses. At 69-years-old, Manafort likely hadn’t anticipated going to jail at this point in his career for even a brief time. He may now never see another day of freedom, based on the average sentences for the crimes he has been charged with by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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The additional charges against Manafort, which led to his jailing. Have no doubt sent shock waves through the remaining uncooperating witnesses, not yet giving Mueller what he needs? Michael Cohen must be feeling increased pressure to sell out the President. Manafort may decide that real jail wields far more influence than a potential pardon. Until now Manafort has been inconvenienced, house arrest and occasional trips to court… two ankle bracelets. Now he has to worry about dropping the soap in the shower? That’s a whole different scenario.

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Michael Cohen has told friends he feels like he’ll be arrested in the near future. Rumors are circulating that Mueller will announce a new round of indictments so as not to be too close to the mid-term elections. Donald Trump Jr… are you ready? Jared Kushner? For all those for whom potential charges were just a mental exercise, shit just got real!

Impeachment or Indictment? That is the Question.

Each day, new revelations reveal the depths of depravity of the Trump campaign, administration, family, and the President himself. What is also apparent is that in every instance reported by the media, Special Counsel Robert Mueller already knew and has known for some time. The final report when issued will be damning, incriminating and it will be clear to the majority of Americans that it’s time for him to go. The question will be, how to proceed?

The two primary options, excluding the unlikely scenario of Trump’s Cabinet committing mutiny and conspiring with VP Mike Pence to remove him for being unfit mentally or physically, is to have him indicted in criminal court or impeached by Congress.

There is an open-ended legal question as to whether a sitting President can be indicted. The issue has never been settled by the Supreme Court, nor is it delineated in the Constitution. There are two Department of Justice findings suggesting it shouldn’t be done but neither carry any legal weight, they are simply Justice Department rules. Filing an indictment will generate a round of appeals as to whether the indictments themselves are legal and the protracted court battle could last well past the President’s term in office, at which time any indictments could be filed without objection on those grounds.

Impeachment is a political process vs. a legal one. It depends on getting a majority of the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment, after which the Senate would conduct a trial, which would require a two-thirds vote to remove the President. Timing is critical as there would be a world of difference between Impeachment proceedings led by House Republicans as opposed to House Democrats if they regain control of the House, Under Republicans, they would draw up the Articles of Impeachment (what crimes will be considered) which would likely be narrow and limited. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee would normally conduct the proceedings and could disallow certain areas of questioning as not being directly related to the Articles and could control witnesses testifying before the House. An attempt at Impeachment prior to the mid-term elections would likely face rejection unless the Mueller report is so compelling it cannot be denied. That won’t keep Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, and others from attempting to reject the Mueller findings and blame some vast deep state conspiracy against Trump. Should Democrats take control of the House in November, Impeachment becomes much more likely but Democrats shouldn’t jump the gun and get ahead of the report from the Special Counsel.

Should the President be impeached; witnesses may be compelled to give testimony that might be excluded from a criminal trial. If the President is later indicted, that testimony could likely be used against the President and the possibility of a successful indictment leading to a guilty verdict intensifies if he were impeached first. Even an unsuccessful Impeachment will bear fruit in later criminal action taken against the President and those surrounding him.

Most importantly, the impeachment will be televised. Not only will America have the chance to hear first hand of Trump’s high crimes, misdemeanors, and moral failures. Each member of Congress will have to stand up and indicate whether they put Party before Country. They will either continue to protect someone that has literally sold out the nation, putting his personal interests and wealth before any consideration of the people. Or, our representatives will do the will of the people. Trump has not been able to do this alone; it took Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, Lindsay Graham, and from time to time even John McCain who found mavericking a little too tough on some crucial votes. Like the village it takes to raise a child, it also took one to support a would-be dictator.

Indictments will still be there awaiting Trump when he finishes his term. In perhaps wishful thinking, I find it hard to believe our government will stand for allowing him to pardon himself. Criminal and civil actions will follow Trump the rest of his life and there is no one more deserving. For the moment, using the legal means of impeachment, we must rid ourselves of this menace before he does any more harm.

 

The Real Danger To Trump From The Raid On Michael Cohen

On April 9, 2018, the offices, hotel, and home of Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen were raided by the FBI which has sent Donald Trump into a frenzy. While one obvious concern is that the raid might uncover more facts about that $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and possibly prove Trump’s affair. Another might be that Cohen’s e-mails reveal further negotiations with Russia about projects like Trump Tower Moscow or other real estate projects during a time Trump was claiming he had no business interests in Russia. There might be some completely unknown criminal behavior that comes to light as a result of the raid. Trump has much to be fearful of but none of that is the worst-case scenario for the President.

The real fear is that Special Counsel Bob Mueller along with the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, amass enough information against Michael Cohen to make him flip, bringing into play every dirty deal Donald Trump has done over the last decade. Money laundering, foreign bribes, conspiracy to affect an election, how he ended up surrounded by grifters and cons (his Cabinet)? And then there’s the women, the Nondisclosure Agreements (NDA’s) and the payoffs.

Cohen can theoretically tie Trump to all sorts of illegal and/or immoral behavior and the only standard a man like Trump can use is, what would he do in similar circumstances? Mueller has been shown to being willing to throw the entire book at someone to get their cooperation (ask Paul Manafort). As the charges pile up against Cohen, beyond the currently asserted FEC violations and bank fraud. At what point will Cohen decide to trade Trump’s misdeeds for a get out of jail free card?

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Trump’s options were already few. Do nothing and wait for Mueller to gather damning information by following the money which he’s already been doing. Watch as his son, son-in-law, and possibly daughter face criminal charges? Fire Mueller and risk immediate impeachment for obstruction of justice? Can he pardon his personal lawyer without confirming additional obstruction? Can he pardon himself? Should he quit?

Despite the fact the raid was conducted not by the Special Counsel’s office but by a regional US Attorney. Mueller has indeed thrown down the gauntlet while simultaneously slapping Trump upside the head with it. My only hope is that if Cohen does flip, we get to watch the testimony on television.

 

Trump: Nowhere to Run, Nowhere To Hide

In the brilliant HBO Series, “The Wire,” when they yelled out, “Omar’s coming!” You knew to run, hide, throw him whatever you had he wanted, and hope he’d have mercy on you. There’s another cry echoing throughout the White House. “Mueller’s coming!” He’s methodically working his way through the administration, finding out, what did they know and when did they know it? Of course, in many cases, he already knows having pumped cooperating witnesses like Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos.

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Mueller’s team has worked their way through the lower echelons of the campaign and administration staff. They’ve talked to Reince, Sean, Hope Hicks, Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff, and others. Flynn had long said he “had a story to tell,” and now he’s telling it. Omarosa might have a thing or two to tell, I’m pretty sure Ben Carson knows nothing.

The ones left on Mueller’s list are down to Donald, Jr., Ivanka, Mike Pence, Jared, and the President himself; Donald J. Trump.We now learn the Special Counsel’s team is negotiating for The Donald to testify and his lawyers are desperately trying to prevent it, or at least minimize the damage. Precedent is not on his side. The Supreme Court has previously held that even a sitting President cannot ignore a subpoena. Other Presidents have sat down in front of Grand Juries or given interviews to investigators. Trump’s lawyers have requested they give written responses only to questions submitted in advance and that they only answer those questions they deem relevant. I suppose it’s their job to ask, knowing in advance the answer will be NO!

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Their panic is manifesting itself in many ways. Trump surrogates are attacking Mueller, the FBI, Clinton, Obama, Huma, and anyone and anything they think will distract from the Russia probe. They claim the investigation has exceeded its authority by digging into Trump’s finances, although the Special Counsel authorization specifically gives him the authority to investigate any crimes they uncover. Senate Republicans have asked the Justice Department to file criminal charges against the one person who contacted the FBI about Trump team interactions with Russia. Despite all their attempts to claim, “Fake News,” or derail the investigation. Mueller is still coming. It’s reported his interview with Trump is just a few weeks away. Watch and see all the remaining Trump stooges start doing whatever they can to save themselves from Mueller and the Federal charges he brings with him. Mueller can administer fines and jail terms. Trump can make promises but he always lies. Which side do you imagine the remaining witnesses will try to please? Mueller’s coming, he’s been on his way for a year now, and he’s about to arrive.

A House Without Honor

We’ve officially run out of hope there was anyone in the White House with some semblance of honor. None we can trust in discussing the smallest of matters, let alone the big ones. The nation knew what it was getting in Donald Trump, serial cheater with an extensive background of sexual assault and financial bad faith. Liar extraordinaire.

Let Them Eat Cake

There was some hope that those around him would do better, perhaps appeal to his better self should it exist. We were told he’d assembled an excellent National Security team. Men of honor who would put country first ahead of politics. Flynn, Tillerson, Pompeo, and Mattis. Gen. Mike Flynn lasted 24 days before resigning after reports of undisclosed meetings with Russians and being an undeclared foreign agent for Turkey. Tillerson has presided over the gutting of the State Department and the world sees him as castrated, unable to speak for the President without being overridden by a tweet. Pompeo recently proclaimed the Intelligence Agencies concluded Russia had no impact on the Presidential election when they said no such thing. Mattis initially fought the good fight but soon crumbled. becoming just another sycophant. Pence sold his soul long ago and Sessions is on a one=man tear to bring back mass incarceration and further legalize voter suppression. Carson is a joke!

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The professional liars that speak for the President; Spicer and Scaramucci are long gone, soulless Sanders misinforms us now with guest appearances on television by Kellyanne. Bannon left but exerts more power on the President and his Party than ever before. Someone has to coordinate with the Neo-Nazis, skinheads, and white supremacists.

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They told us Ivanka would be a good influence, promoting women’s issues, child care and protecting dreamers. Having influence on none of those things, she’s settled for her new business deals with China. Her free time is spent on her hidden e-mail account on a private server and talking with her new criminal attorney.

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

Jared was that bright young man that was our next, best hope. It seems he’s had even more Russian contacts than Flynn and almost as many conflicts of interest as his father-in-law. He hired some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country, beating the run on criminal lawyers by pretty much the rest of the Administration as they ready themselves for Special Counsel Mueller’s questions. We won’t mention Manafort who didn’t even make it through the campaign before millions in Ukranian cash payments from pro-Putin oligarchs tripped him up. The FBI assures him he’ll be indicted.

Manafort under the bus

It seemed the only honorable person left in the White House was Gen. Kelly. That was before he stood behind the White House podium and lied about a speech by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Of course, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stands by the lie which makes it doubly false. He was “stunned” that the Congresswoman, “listened in” to a call from the President to the widow of a fallen Green Beret. This while Kelly and “several others” according to Sanders were listening in when the President made the call.

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There is nobody left we can hope to believe about anything. I’m waiting patiently until we get to the stage where we have public testimony in the Russia hearings. Lie then!