The Mueller investigation is finally coming to a head as the Special Counsel has now received written responses from Donald Trump to key questions in the ongoing investigation, although with a number of witnesses yet to be deposed, it could still take some time before a final report is issued.
But over the last week, what America has learned regarding the investigation has only increased the likelihood of obstruction charges, and potential charges of witness tampering as well. In fact, it’s important for people who are frustrated at how much time this investigation is taking to remember a few things — chiefly that investigations of former presidents and even of Hillary Clinton have taken much, much longer.
More importantly, however, we should remember that nothing that’s transpired during the entire process has at any point made it look less likely that Trump is guilty. That is to say, at many turns in the probe, we have been left feeling that there was more evidence against him, but there’s never been any revelation that made anyone who was seriously following the case step back and say, “maybe he didn’t do it.”
CNN was provided two of the answers that Trump submitted to Mueller’s office in writing — already an absurd accommodation, although perhaps necessary in this case, given the now-Trump-friendly head of the Department of Justice, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.
And although the news agency didn’t get any more than just the two answers, they are essentially the landmarks on which Trump has staked his innocence: Whether he was ever told about ongoing efforts by WikiLeaks to assist Russia in tilting the election in his favor, and whether he was ever told about the now-infamous meeting that took place in Trump Tower in June 2016, attended by a now-known Kremlin lawyer, her Russian intelligence attaché, and a team from the Trump campaign including his son, son-in-law, and campaign manager.
Trump, of course, answered in the negative on both accounts.
Sources told CNN that Trump was careful to specify that he was answering “to the best of his recollection,” a common tactic for those that know their answers, if they turn out to be lies, would result in criminal charges.
But in perhaps the biggest twist in the case yet — and one that could do serious damage to the President’s case, depending on the extent of Mueller’s knowledge — is that after receiving Trump’s written answers, the special counsel announced that it was voiding the cooperation agreement it held with Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, because they had evidence he had been lying to investigators during debriefings associated with his cooperation.
Given that Manafort and Trump have what’s known as a joint defense agreement — meaning that their respective legal teams had been sharing information since that agreement was formed — it’s reasonable to assume that the two camps “got their stories straight” and that Mueller’s announcement that he was vacating the cooperation agreement with Manafort means he found a discrepancy between what he was told by one and what he was told by the other, thereby making it highly likely that both are actively lying, since both would have an interest in saying the same thing.
Regardless, even these two answers are hilariously absurd to ask even a casual observer to believe: To imagine Trump knew nothing about a meeting in his own workplace between his own campaign and his own son, regarding his own presidential campaign is laughable on its face. And the more we find out about timelines and connections between Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, and a cadre of Trump cohorts who worked with WikiLeaks to secure access to Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails and strategically release false stories about her using outlets that only Trump had contacts inside — like the National Enquirer — the more likely it is that his claim of being in the dark on that front is bunk as well.
It’s going to be an exciting conclusion to the biggest legal case in American political history.
Featured image via screen capture