VOA News / YouTube Trump Fumes Over Special Counsel Mueller...
VOA News / YouTube

He started cranking it up again this morning…

…so who knows how long it’ll go on.  A direct Twitter attack on the Mueller investigation that started on Saturday, from which he had refrained until then.

So what got the orange ape excited enough first to sic his lawyers on the Special Counsel and then break out of the cage and start flinging fecal material himself this past weekend?

My take: I, and others including Business Insider, first spotted what I consider a buried lede in a New York Times story posted Saturday.

The president’s tweets, posted on a Saturday in which he remained inside the White House with no public schedule, came as Mr. Mueller is said to have sent questions to Mr. Trump’s legal team as part of negotiations over an interview with the president. Mr. Mueller is seeking the interview, according to two people close to the White House, in order to ask follow-up questions, but put forward the list as a start.

We don’t know exactly when the questions were sent, but as this story came out on Saturday, and they would have been sent on a weekday, therefore Friday at the latest, we certainly know that 45*’s spittle-flecked tweets came out after his lawyers received the questions.

The reason Trump is panicking is that such a list of questions provides a sense of what the investigation is focusing on, and—worse, if you’re the target—what the prosecutor knows.

So, imagine what sorts of questions are on that list.  Remember, Mueller’s mandate is broad: he was ordered to investigate not only the Trump-Russia election-interference connection, but also:

(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a) is the law that provides the Special Counsel:
…the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses…

So I’m sure he’s going to be asked all about discussions around the firing of James Comey, and at this point, Andrew McCabe.  I’m sure he’ll be asked about whether he knew about Don Jr’s meeting with Russian spy Natalya Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016, and what was discussed… along with any number of other meetings between people on his campaign and assorted Russians, notably Sergei Kislyak.  He’ll be asked about what transpired during his visits to Russia involving the Miss Universe pageant and the proposed Trump Tower.  He’ll be asked about whether he knew about Jared’s attempt to create a back-channel using Russian equipment.  He’ll be asked about the roles of George Papadopoulis and Carter Page.  He’ll be asked about Russian loans to the family, and real estate deals involving apparent overpricing of real estate.  He’ll be asked about his involvement in everything Paul Manafort has been charged for.  He’ll be asked if he knew about the hacked DNC emails before they became public, if he knew about Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook campaign, the Internet Research Agency’s Twitter campaign, the Russian spies in the US seedingTrump rallies, the hacking of voter databases and voting systems.

He’ll be asked whether he is aware of any kompromat that Putin has on him.  (Yes—he’ll be asked about the pee tape.)

I’m sure he’ll be asked all sorts of things I have no idea about as well, because they are classified.

Now here’s the thing: if his lawyers are honest with him they will tell him he is being asked these questions as a test of his honesty only because Mueller already knows the answers from other sources.  That’s how these investigations are done, and we’ve already heard from multiple people who were called in by Mueller as witnesses that they were surprised by how much he knew.  That means that the r*sident now has a much better idea of what Mueller knows.

After he was soothed by Devin Nunes that the House Intelligence Committee found no evidence of collusion, seeing this list of questions—and knowing it’s only a start—is probably scaring the living shit out of him.

So he’s trying everything he can to save himself.

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