Friday, May 19, 2017

Mueller's Probe MUST Block Some Public Knowing

Don't be alarmed when you hear that there is a downside to Robert Mueller's being named to investigate Trump.

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel is a huge step forward, though it comes at a bit of a price. Because Mueller is conducting a criminal prosecution, complete with a grand jury, we will not know all that his investigation uncovers unless such results in an indictment. Grand jury proceedings are secret and kept under wraps.

Further, those Mueller may call as witnesses, or who think they may be called,  have to be careful not to give testimony in other forums, such as a Congressional hearing, that can be used against them. Therefore, witnesses in front of any Congressional committees will be tight-lipped.

Also keep in mind that any evidence that gets made public from Mueller's investigation has to have been part of a scenario which has met the high bar of being adequte evidence for a criminal prosecution. This is a much higher test than that used in impeachment proceedings, the latter being a political procedure and not a criminal one. 

We will therefore possibly end up knowing a somewhat limited amount about the shenanigans of Trump and Co. (Or it could be a lot.)

But the alternative to Mueller's investigation was worse. It was extremely clear that the GOP-controlled investigative committees were going nowhere and doing it slowly. Further, Trump was actively influencing them. (Remember Rep. Devlin Nunes playing hide and seek in the dark on the White House grounds?) 

In fact, just before Mueller was appointed, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other hot-shot GOP were demanding that the just-fired FBI chief, James Comey, produce his notes memorializing Trump pressuring him to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn. The GOP was trying to switch from Trump to Comey the burden of being a bad guy who can't be believed on just his word. 

It certainly hasn't looked like the GOP was going to do anything meaningful about Trump.

By contrast, with Mueller in place, we at least have the prospect that someone may be criminally prosecuted. 

But is that what we want? Sort of. But don't we really want the whole truth a lot more? 

We want to know what the Russians did to our election process in 2016 and whether they had help from Trump's campaign. We also want to know what Trump's puzzling bond wih Putin actually consists of, i.e. has he been engaged in any treasonous-leaning relationship with Russia. Have any in his circle? With other countries, such as Turkey and Iran? Are his financial affairs wrapped into Russia, Azerbaijan or other countries inappropriately? Has he been money-laundering or even violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? (Donald Trump's Worst Deal - The New Yorker)

There's more. But how much of this comes within the category of criminal? Something can be very bad but not be a crime. And not all crimes can be prosecuted because there may not be sufficient evidence.

The insufficient evidence of a crime is nevertheless evidence of a kind. It can still be adequate for impeachment. It can still be adequate for political punishment at the polls. 

The problem is that maybe we will never know about it. Mueller has to shield all evidence and witnesses that do not make up a prosecutable crime. 

Conceivably, Trump & Co. may get away with a lot, as far as Mueller's investigation goes. 

But the alternative was that Trump & Co were going to get away with everything. And also be free in the interim to destroy our democracy.

Can the GOP-run Congressional committees yet redeem themselves by having meaningful hearings so we can hear this other evidence? 

But why would they want to do anything any more? Things are fine for them now. Trump is now Mueller's problem, not theirs. They can smile and say, "It's all being taken care of."

Meantime Karma will likely get 'em anyway! Because Trump will go on being Trump and likely make more problems for the GOP Congress folks. They dined with the Devil and didn't use a long enough spoon. Now they are stuck with him.

Donald Trump is the gift that never stops giving. He will yet generate more than the GOP Congress can put a lid on. He's just too stupid to know what terrible jeopardy he is in now that hard-headed Mueller is running an investigation.

Just possibly Trump should be getting measured for a new suit. "You want that in stripes or in orange, Mr.Trump?"

NOTE: Keep in mind that other investigations and lawsuits are going on that may get into things Mueller doesn't. There are private suits against Trump and investigations by other federal agencies. Almost all of these are focussed on money questions and his investments. Most likely involve transactions on paper and are thus larely free of witnesses taking the Fifth.These suits and investigations may continue unabated and bear fruit, answering things Mueller doesn't. I'll write about them when I finish getting info on them. Meantime, smile. It ain't over till it's over! This horse has legs!


No comments:

Post a Comment