Trump surrogates and supporters are insisting that Donald Trump “deserves” to not only know the name of any informants, but to see any evidence that has been collected, before he had to talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The days of “nothing to see here” are at least two Trump Tower meetings, three distinct foreign social media efforts, four indicted Trump campaign members, and several million dollars funneled through a shell company in the past. Not only did the Trump campaign conspire with Russian agents to affect the legitimate outcome of a United States election, they were all in on turning a profit from anyone else who came knocking.
That’s why, even though Trump continues to toss a token “no collusion” into many of his tweets, the Trump defense has moved on. In addition to Trump’s giant deflection, demanding that the Department of Justice turn his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani as tried to make it clear that Donald Trump isn’t subject to the laws of man, and can neither be indicted nor subpoenaed.
Which makes the requirement that Mueller tell everything he knows before Trump agrees to talk seem almost superfluous.
Rudy Giuliani said Mr. Trump could be “walking into a trap” unless federal prosecutors make clear the role played by the suspected informant and whether the person compiled any “incriminating information” about Mr. Trump’s associates.
That demand is being repeated, and amplified, not just by Giuliani but by Trump supporters from Congress to the media, despite the fact that the FBI and DOJ have made it clear that revealing the source at this point would endanger not only lives, but the capability of US intelligence. And Giuliani is backing the demand with more of his ridiculous statements, including that insisting that this information be revealed to Trump can’t possibly obstruction because the source already talked to the FBI.
But the information generated by that source, and all the information from all the other sources, including those still not known to the public, have not made it into a final report or a they-wouldn’t-dare indictment. Meaning that there is still plenty of opportunity for Trump to obstruct by simply ending the investigation or blocking the release of a report.
Defendants have the right to see the evidence against them after they’ve been charged, but investigators regularly withhold, exaggerate, or flat out lie when conducting interrogation of potential targets. Rightly or wrongly, it is part of the system. No one seems to have asked Giuliani if every mob boss he talked to was informed about who was squealing in their organization, and what had been spilled, before they sat down for questioning.
Republicans are now acting as if Trump is being blindsided, as if he never heard of any investigation. But while Mitch McConnell blocked the truth about the Russia investigation from reaching the public, Trump was fully briefed on what the FBI and other intelligence agencies had learned, months before the election—and months before many of the events now being revealed, including the second known Trump Tower meeting where the Trump team eagerly welcomed the assistance of additional foreign governments.
Much of this effort seem like more table-setting for Trump to intervene to halt the investigation and for Republicans to take no action at all in response.
Except, of course, to launch more investigations of Hillary Clinton.