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Pierce writes: "Whether or not Trump is winning the political war is irrelevant at this stage."

Donald Trump and Robert Mueller. (photo: Getty Images)
Donald Trump and Robert Mueller. (photo: Getty Images)

Only One Guy Is Indicting People, and His Name Is Robert Mueller

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

11 June 18

Whether or not Trump is winning the political war is irrelevant at this stage.

keep hearing about how the president* is winning the “messaging” and/or the “political” battle against Robert Mueller and the forces investigating the president* and the bounders and thieves with whom he has conspired and colluded his entire adult life. The problem with this, of course, is that the president* doesn’t have the guts to arrange for Mueller’s dismissal and, all messaging and politics aside, there’s only one of them who can indict people.

There’s only one of them who can indict people twice. From CNN:

The indictment includes two new charges against both Manafort and Kilimnik: a count of obstruction of justice and a count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, meaning the two allegedly worked together to tamper with witnesses. Kilimnik, 48, of Moscow, is the 20th person to face charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. So far, 20 people and three companies have been charged. Earlier this week, Mueller's office accused Manafort of attempting to get witnesses to lie for him in court. A witness told investigators recently that Manafort wanted them to commit perjury about a lobbying effort they worked on for him in the US, a filing in DC District Court said. Manafort is currently out on house arrest and a $10 million unsecured bail. He awaits a trial in Virginia that is scheduled for late July and a trial in DC scheduled to begin in September. He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose his US lobbying work for a foreign government and to bank fraud and other financial crimes.

I’m not sure how much all this talk about “messaging” and the political ramifications really matters. Certainly, Mueller doesn’t have any illusions about the president*’s supine supporters in the Congress. He’s not waiting for any political institution to assert itself against the president*, because he must know by now how futile that would be.

Instead, he keeps doing what prosecutors do: shaking witnesses and building cases and getting indictments when he’s sure he can get them. Manafort’s turning on a spit right now, and what Sean Hannity thinks of that, or what Paul Ryan thinks of it, doesn’t matter either to Manafort or to the guy operating the rotisserie. At the end of things, people will go to prison, and the country will have a detailed accounting of what it did to itself when it installed this low-rent crew in control of the government. We’ve all been under indictment for that for going on three years now.

This one can’t wait until next week’s semi-regular weekly survey of the laboratories of democracy. Down in Georgia, the governor’s race just went completely off the trolley. Clay Tippins, one of the losing candidates in the recent GOP gubernatorial primary, sat down for a conversation with Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. Tippins thoughtfully remembered to record the conversation on his phone, which was in his pocket.

In the interest of keeping money from a SuperPac away from one of his opponents, Cagle had sold out Tippins’ uncle, a state senator. And the recording is simply awesome. From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Cagle: Absolutely. And we know that we’ve got to move the ball. Public education, he and I — I wouldn’t say we are completely in agreement with everything, but I would say 95-plus percent.
Tippins: Which is a lot, if you agree 95 percent of the time.
Cagle: And listen, Lindsey — there’s a reason I put him as education chair. Because it is my biggest issue, and it’s the issue that I’m the most passionate about, that I care the most, it’s where I focus my efforts. And Lindsey is the guy I can trust to get it done. So, I just told Lindsey point-blank. I said, ‘Lindsey, the SSO bill, I’ve got to have it.’
Tippins: Why did you have to have it? I know you rely upon him, and he felt — he knows his (expletive). I know you trust his judgment on education, and he knows his (expletive). Why did you have to have that so bad? Because I love him, and I can see the pain on him …
Cagle: It was bad, it was bad.
Tippins: Why? You turned on him. And there are reasons for that. Why did you have to have it?
Cagle: Exactly the reason I told Lindsey, that you need to listen to: It ain’t about public policy. It’s about (expletive) politics. There’s a group that was getting ready to put $3 million behind Hunter Hill. Mr. Pro-Choice. I mean, Mr. Pro-Charters, Vouchers. …
Cagle: Back to Lindsey … I said, ‘Lindsey, I’ve got to have it. … This is not about policy. This is about politics.’ And he said, ‘Let me just resign so you can do what you want to do.’…
Tippins: I think that’s what hurt him. He actually thought you were going to back him on it. …
Cagle: He’s upset with me. And I talked to him today. … This is the deal: I said, Lindsey, ‘I’ve got to have it. I’ve got to have that bill out of committee. Either you’re going to give me that bill out of committee, or I’m going to have to work around you. Because this is not about policy, this is about politics.’ I said, ‘I’m not going to let you resign, because you’re too good a friend. And I don’t want this thing blowing up on you and I on this. But what I really want you to do is give me a bill that you can live with and that I can live with. And I gave him some parameters he could never get comfortable with. I said: ‘Lindsey, you need to understand this bill is going to happen. It’s going to happen.’
Tippins: Because it had to, to keep the money away from Hunter?
Cagle: Yeah. I mean, I was playing defense. I’m being honest with you.

This is a near perfect rat-fck and Cagle, who is facing a runoff for the Republican nomination with Brian Kemp, was the perfect sucker. Cagle is exposed as someone who would sell his grandmother to Somali pirates for three points in the next local TV poll. He’s also exposed as someone who can be induced easily into dangerous stupidity. The Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams, can sit back and watch the entertaining cannibal feast on the other side. Classic. your social media marketing partner


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-9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-11 11:17
Pierce forgets to mention that Mueller cannot indict Trump. Period. Trump can be impeached by congress, and it may well be that Mueller is waiting for a democratic majority in the congress before sending a report to his boss at the DOJ and then on to the congress. Trump can be impeached. I don't have any idea what the chances of that are.

But the out of court game is about to get very serious. Rumors are that Guiliani and his lawyer colleagues are working on a complaint to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility demanding that Rosenstein, Mueller, and some of the attorneys on Mueller's staff be forced to recuse themselves because of conflicts of interest. This is serious. It will stick. Mueller and Comey are very close friends. It appears that it was Comey who recommended Mueller for the job. So Comey's friend is prosecuting Trump for firing Comey -- that's not going to work anywhere but in the third world.

My guess is that Trump's lawyers have not taken this route because they thought that Mueller would investigate the various issues -- Russian meddling, obstruction -- and find nothing and close the case. Now everyone knows he will never close the case. This is about getting Trump, even if that means destroying the lives of everyone associated with Trump until either Trump resigns or someone agrees to give perjured testimony against Trump.

The Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Inspector General are about to kick in.
+5 # QueenBee62 2018-06-11 14:23
Did I miss something? You changed the subject in the middle of your piece. What does the Georgia governor’s race have to do with the Mueller investigation?
+1 # QueenBee62 2018-06-11 14:29
I’m sorry. Did I miss something? You switched gears in the middle of the article. What does the Georgia race for governor have to do with Trump or the Mueller investigation?
+9 # Texas Aggie 2018-06-11 17:00
That conversation was something else. That people will actually do things like what he was describing is so sickening.

I keep asking why people think that they have to do something like this. If you have to cheat and lie to get what you want, you have to consider that what you want maybe is something you shouldn't have. Cheney and Dubya did that on a major scale and they created the mess in Afghanistan, Iraq, the jihadists including ISIS, the mess in the Middle East and a lot of ill will for the US. But they had to find some excuse to invade Iraq, so they lied about WMD.
+2 # ericlipps 2018-06-11 19:55
If only it were so. But if it were, Donald Trump not only wouldn't be president, he'd never have made it to the GOP nomination.

After Reagan, Dubya and now the Don (cue "Godfather" theme), we should have learned that sometimes the bad guy wins, even if he's a boob (and, in Trump's case, a boor).
+7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-12 08:42
I definitely agree with your here. Republican presidents since Reagan have been as bad as they could get. They have all be ignoramuses to the extreme. Republicans seem to have found a secret in the kind of candidate Americans will vote for -- Raygun Ronnie, Frat Boy W, and Bully Boy Trump. All disgusting.

So we know that the bad guy sometimes or often wins. What do we do. The Demos are not exactly good guys or girls.
-6 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-06-12 07:02
Forget Russia. It now appears that Kim Jong Un taken control of Trump. Yesterday, Trump said to Kim, "you could have the best hotels in the world." So I guess Trump will be building Trump Towers all over Pyongyang.

Putin has been upstaged by Kim. Mueller might as well hang up his indictment boiler plates.

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