One of the most impressive — yet frustrating — aspects of the Mueller investigation has been the lack of any statements or leaks from the Special Counsel and his team about how the investigation is going. It’s been a virtual “black box” for 18 months. The probe into Russia’s attack on the 2016 election and Trump et al.’s illegal financial dealings, which together caused an illegitimate presidency that is threatening our democracy, is by outward appearances now reaching a boiling point. Yet we know only what has been reported and is available from court proceedings, public records, and statements (incoherent, sometimes self-incriminating, and too numerous to cite here) from Trump, his administration, and his current and former cronies.
Today, however, I noticed two developments that lead me to believe Mueller will be dropping something huge by week’s end: He has cut off communication with Trump’s team regarding the request to interview Trump, and put up roadblocks to plea bargaining with Paul Manafort’s legal team regarding the upcoming D.C. trial. This is like the tide receding before a tsunami lays waste to the shoreline. And rather than run for higher ground, which many of his formerly closest advisors are doing (see, e.g., Cohen, Weisselberg, et al.), Trump is sitting in the wet sand with his sandcastle toys, throwing a tantrum. That shadow eclipsing the Sun is a blue wave about to break, and Mueller is riding a longboard straight for Trump’s puckering mouth.
The official line is that Mueller’s team is still “studying” the so-called President’s five-page letter from August 8, and that a response will be forthcoming at some point in the future. Not likely. It doesn’t take a team of two dozen brilliant legal minds three weeks to respond to a letter demanding terms and conditions of an investigatory interview. More likely, the delay has been intentional, not only to allow the first Manafort trial to conclude, but also because Mueller plans to drop some kind of status report on Congress this week.
Why would Mueller present a report to Congress without interviewing Trump first? First and foremost, because a Trump interview is not at all necessary, according to Jon A. Sale, an assistant special prosecutor to Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski during the Watergate investigation:
It is important to remember a special counsel’s mission is fulfilled successfully by a thorough investigation, regardless of whether the evidence incriminates or clears the person being investigated. The American people will have confidence in our institutions if Mueller’s report, completed without an interview of the president, follows the evidence and reaches a fair conclusion.
Beyond the fact that there is ample evidence of crimes committed by Trump and his associates that is in plain, public view, there is also overwhelming evidence that Trump is incapable of telling the truth unless the truth serves his interests. In a world of liars, he is the biggest liar experts have ever seen. Guiliani and Dershowitz’s warnings of a perjury trap are telling. It isn’t a perjury trap if Mueller is seeking truthful answers – which he would be – and Trump ends up lying in response. The Trump goons are calling a potential interview a perjury trap because they see no useful purpose of the interview in advancing the Special Counsel’s investigation, because they know Trump will lie, lie, and lie again.
I think we should believe them. And I think Mueller does, too. Which is why, the Special Counsel will release a report of preliminary findings very soon, stating that there is credible evidence that the President of the United States and top aides and family members committed a conspiracy against the United States, obstruction of justice, and campaign finance violations.
A GOP-controlled Congress is asleep on its beach blanket, and about to feel the deluge.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.