Medill DC, cropped / Flickr robert mueller...
Medill DC, cropped / Flickr

If you love to see a good, well thought out, professionally done investigation unfold, you’re in hog heaven right now. I grew up in a family that was cop heavy, and this is a work of art. Everybody loves that line about somebody playing three dimensional chess while their opponent is playing checkers. Well, right now, the Mueller crew is the New England Patriots front line, and the Trump administration are the tackling dummies.

Robert Mueller has already accomplished mission one. He has gotten into their heads. And it’s showing. Remember when you were a kid, and your mother would just stare at you, not say a word, just stare at you. And you knew right then you were in deep kimchi. That’s Mueller, he’s an omnipresent scolw and a tapping foot. Then your father would whisper, “Boy, you’re i for it now.” That’s all of those “sources close to the investigation” leaks in the reporting. Knowing the hammer was going to fall, but not knowing when, or how hard was the worst part. You knew that she knew, but you didn’t know what she knew, and how much of it she knew.

It’s getting to Trump, and to all of them. Look at Trump. Where’s all of the bluff and bluster of the days of old? Where’s the “Russia is fake news, a hoax” condemnations? Where are the rumors that Trump is actively angling to fire Mueller? And now you’ve got his his legal Wyatt Earp, Ty Cobb, with the twisted end moustache saying that Mueller will be finished by the firwst of the year. Mueller’s not wrapping up, he’s just getting started.

Mueller is playing the psychology of this perfectly. It’s the waiting that kills you, and makes you sloppy. When you get a call from the secretary, telling you the boss wants to see you at 3:00, how much do you get done until 2:55? All you’re thinking is “what did I do now?”, and “How did he find out?”, and “How much does he know?” The fact that Trump went out of his way to set up a Machiavellian, distrustful, dysfunctional White House is only exacerbating the [problem. nobody has any friends, and nobody they can trust. That’s one of the reasons for the myriad of west wing leaks, put other people’s feet to the fire to keep your own tootsies safe and clean. 

And Mueller has played the folded-arms-stern-look, foot tapping role perfectly. The “sources familiar with the investigation” leaks are vague and non specific, but just enough to make everybody start scouring their heads for what they might know about that issue. The Mueller leaks deal with issues where multiple people are involved, so you never know who you’re going to be asked about, or what specific actions or topics. The fact that Donald Trump is now bankrupting your family with legal fees isn’t helping. And all you can do is to sit and wait for 3:00 to roll around, and the boss’s door to open.

To know how bad it is, you only have to remember these 7 words. “Do you think they’ll get the President?” Jared Kushner is reported to have asked a friend about that. One thing jumps right out at you. When is the last time you heard somebody say, “I wonder if they’ll get Father Gerald for that bank robbery?” You don’t worry about people you love getting railroaded for something they didn’t do. If it’s true, that question by Kushner was one of the strongest indications yet that there is gold at the end of that rainbow. And Kushner has good reason to be worried. His selective memory loss on his SF86 form alone can get him 5 years in Club Fed. Forget one thing? Plausible. But forget more than 100 contacts? And ave to update the damn form three times? Not so much.

Jared is between a rock and a very hard ‘nother rock. All he has to do is to look at a newspaper to see that he is not a very popular fellow. e also knows how dysfunctional and leaky this White Houswe is. Who knows what about him, and how much of it can they prove. The leaks, not only from Muellers investigators, but also from the congressional committees, are showing him just how stupidly he’s played his hand, and plenty of people would be happy to tell him how much trouble he’s in,if they weren’t running from him at mach speed.

There is one thing that gives me comfort and confidence here. Jared Kushner does not come from proud, stand-up-guy stock. His father went to prison for setting up his own brother in law with a hooker, and taping it to try to blackmail him. This family history must make Donnie Jr feel real comfortable right about now. To me, Jared’s question can have only one meaning. He is trying to figure out exactly how much Mueller has on Trump, so he can figure out exactly what he can add, and how much of it, to get his own sorry ass out of this sling. I cannIf necessary, he can always get another wife and kids, but not from federal prison, and besides, exactly what b enefit has his association with Trump brought to him and his family? Their own personal business dealings are now under the microscope because of Trump.

This is just starting to get interesting. With people like McGahn, Hope Hicks, and certainly KellyAnne Conway rapidly approaching their walk through the turnstile, the timed leaks to keep them off balance, and wondering not only what Mueller knows, but what he knows about them will continue. KellyAnne Conway can sit around wondering what Hope Hicks said about her. Nothing like a cohesive team, all pulling at the same end of the oar, to get the job done. Don’t toudch that dial.

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