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Abramson writes: "What a catalogue of rogues - and what a tantalizing pile of clues. Surely we will soon know where all this leads."

Special Council and former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III. (photo: AP)
Special Council and former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III. (photo: AP)


The Mueller Investigation Is Closing In on Trump

By Jill Abramson, Guardian UK

03 December 18


What a catalogue of rogues – and what a tantalizing pile of clues. Surely we will soon know where all this leads

he rogues’ gallery exposed in Robert Mueller’s court filings last week make the Watergate burglars look positively classy.

Even veteran lawyers who were involved in the investigations of Richard Nixon say they’ve never seen this level of chicanery. Most importantly, last week’s events showed that Special Counsel Mueller is getting closer to exposing the scope and depth of it all. His most recent filings make clear that considerable evidence touches the president himself.

The disclosures from Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer who is now a cooperating witness, drew the connection tighter. In his guilty plea to an additional charge of lying to Congress, Cohen revealed, and Trump confirmed, that the Trump Organization was pursuing a luxury skyscraper deal in Moscow while Donald Trump, identified as “Individual 1” in the latest court filings, was sewing up the Republican party presidential nomination.

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly reassured voters that he had no business dealings in Russia. But as he uttered those lies, he knew Cohen was planning to sell Russian kleptocrats $250m units in a future Trump Tower Moscow by luring Putin into the project with a free $50m spread. This was all unfolding as emails from Democratic officials, hacked by the Russians, disrupted the Democratic convention and the Republican party was making its party platform much kinder to Russia.

Trump tried to dismiss this Moscow real estate bombshell, saying it was fine for him to pursue his business affairs while running for president, because if he lost, he expected to return to the throne of the Trump Organization. Could this help Mueller close the circle of collusion between Trump and Russia?

Cohen had previously connected President Trump to payoffs made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, which may violate election law. But the additional guilty plea last week goes to the heart of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and possible links to Donald Trump.

Also last week came the astounding revelation that Paul Manafort was acting as a double agent inside Mueller’s office. After Manafort was convicted on multiple counts of bank and tax fraud related to the millions he was paid by Ukrainian clients, he cut a deal with Mueller before his second trial, agreeing to plead guilty and to cooperate with the special counsel. Instead of cooperating, turncoat Manafort was spying and tipping off the president’s lawyers about the prosecution’s areas of interest.

Manafort’s deal then went where it belonged, in the trash. Big jail time should be in store for him, but it is more than likely that he will receive a presidential pardon for being such a standup guy. “I wouldn’t take it off the table,” President Trump said in an Oval Office interview with the New York Post. “Why would I take it off the table?” Mafia dons often dangle protection to silence snitches. But this isn’t the mafia, it’s the White House.

It’s hard to imagine anything lower than what Manafort did. But also trotting on stage last week were the conspiracy-loving tag team of Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi. In a draft court filing related to a collapsed plea deal with Corsi, 72, Mueller also revealed that in email exchanges, Stone told Corsi to get hold of hacked emails from WikiLeaks and that the pair discussed optimum times to release them in order to damage Clinton’s candidacy. Stone and Corsi have ties to Alex Jones’s ultra-right conspiracy site, Infowars, and Corsi was the man behind the false birther campaign against Barack Obama and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a rightwing group that tried to besmirch John Kerry’s military record in his 2004 bid to become president. Stone is a trickster from way back (he even has a Nixon tattoo on his back). Stone and Corsi have both denied contacts with WikiLeaks.

Clownish though some of them seem, these men may hold some keys to Mueller’s investigation. And we have yet to hear from Michael Flynn, the Trump foreign policy adviser and short-lived national security adviser, who has also pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation and whose role in this muck is soon to be revealed in court. Though last week’s documents did not deal with the suspect meeting in Trump Tower during the campaign with a Russian lawyer claiming to have dirt on Clinton. Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr, were there and the meeting remains a subject of interest to Mueller.

What a tantalizing pile of clues. Surely, we will soon know where they lead.

During the Nixon years, a famous journalist, Jimmy Breslin, wrote two books. One was a novel about the mafia called The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, that I thought about as I watched Manafort et al trot across the television screen last week. He also wrote a book after Nixon resigned about the politicians who helped restore honesty and dignity to Washington. It was called How the Good Guys Finally Won. That one deserves a sequel.

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-12 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-03 13:58
This is much ado about nothing. So what if Cohen did not get the dates right! That proves nothing and it does not even point to anything illegal.

Mueller is, once again, in a dry hole. Like a good gopher, he just keeps digging. After all, that's what he knows. But he's coming up with nothing and the shot clock -- or is that digging clock -- is running down. When the new senate confirmed AG takes office, Mueller's wings may be trimmed significantly. At least Mueller will be required to report to the new AG who may not look favorably on perjury traps and witness intimidation.

One would think that after all this time Mueller would have found something substantive. But he never looked in the right places. If he wanted to know who leaked the DNC and Podesta emails to WikiLeaks, he should have investigated the murder of Seth Rich and the information Craig Murray produced more than 18 months ago But Mueller never gave these sources a moment's thought. He's too busy digging under the white house.
 
 
0 # Freddy 2018-12-07 13:36
Last I checked, the count of number of individuals indicted and pleading guilty, so far, numbers over 30. And we're talking alleged crimes on the order of lying to Congress and the FBI. If that doesn't qualify as "substantive," what does?
 
 
+8 # Concerned Citizen 2018-12-03 14:43
The name of our soon to be disgraced ex-president should be expunged from all public display and never again mentioned in polite society.
 
 
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-05 08:29
Just like in Orwell's 1984 -- down the memory hole.

Actually, I think we should remember and study our past mistakes. I'm also in favor of keeping Confederate Statues and all the monuments to past mistakes, tragedies, and so on.

They should make a statue of Trump and display it somewhere. You choose the location. This is so we will never forget. They are doing this with Reagan -- a far worse president than Trump.
 
 
+6 # Adoregon 2018-12-03 14:53
Great pride precedes the fall.
 
 
+7 # BetaTheta 2018-12-03 15:10
Trump belong squarely on that list of “America's Dumbest Criminals.” You know – the ones who are so proud of their crimes that they brag about them on Facebook.
 
 
+2 # tr4302@gmail.com 2018-12-03 16:03
Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive.
Sir WAlter Scott recognized the folly involved and added this observation.
"Oh, dastard fool to reason lost" The Watergate gang helped get Nixon to resign.
Maybe the new Key Stone Cops will do the same for Trump!
 
 
+3 # tr4302@gmail.com 2018-12-03 16:23
The hope that springs eternal within the human breast. Resign now! Don`t wait for impeachment.
 
 
+1 # BetaTheta 2018-12-06 08:03
Probably the main thing that keeps him from resigning in a huff (America doesn't deserve my talents!) is the loss of pardon power and the knowledge that citizen Trump could be much more easily prosecuted.
 
 
+4 # dlet60 2018-12-03 17:47
I find it very interesting that both Hillary and the Donald are involved with conspiracies with Russia. The pretense of both the Republican and the Democratic parties is that they are separate. In truth they are manifestly the right and left arms, respectively, of the War Party. Of course while all involved know this truth, all politicians and all the mainstream media uphold this illusion. But the show must go on until the American people wake up and realize we have all been played. Someday there will be hell to pay.
 
 
0 # hkatzman 2018-12-04 17:56
Quoting dlet60:
I find it very interesting that both Hillary and the Donald are involved with conspiracies with Russia.


I'm sorry, what conspiracy with Russia was Hillary involved in?
 
 
+1 # Robbee 2018-12-03 17:52
"What a tantalizing pile of clues. Surely, we will soon know where they lead." - The Mueller Investigation Is Closing In on Trump, 03 December 18

- this has been a steady headline ever since mueller got appointed

every time mueller busts a move, some bright journalist, pundit or dickhead supposes mueller has everything any prosecutor wants

and every time a real prosecutor proves most journalists don't know s***

this story is a helpful summing of recent court proceedings

expect 2 more bombshells this coming tuesday and friday, when mueller files to courts

and more to come from cohen and, possibly even stone and manafort

to wrap this up mueller has until 2020, sorry hotshots!
 
 
-5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-04 07:07
I think Abramson is right. Mueller is closing in. But it is impossible to know what he is closing in with. And Abramson does not give any hints either. All she's got is insulting innuendos about Mueller's victims. "It’s hard to imagine anything lower than what Manafort did. " Actually, what Manafort did is refuse to lie for Mueller. That's not so low. It is actually courageous and noble. He knows he will spend the rest of his life in prison. He's in solitary confinement now as Mueller's way of torturing him into submission. And yet he stands up to the thug.

Mueller is closing in. He and his Probers are like a pack of predators circling their prey. We don't know the final launch will be but it does feel that it is coming. The Jackels are on the prowl. They have the victim in their range. Trump seems also to sense that they are getting close.
 
 
0 # carytucker 2018-12-04 21:08
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov:
I think Abramson is right. Mueller is closing in. But it is impossible to know what he is closing in with. And Abramson does not give any hints either. All she's got is insulting innuendos about Mueller's victims. "It’s hard to imagine anything lower than what Manafort did. " Actually, what Manafort did is refuse to lie for Mueller. That's not so low. It is actually courageous and noble. He knows he will spend the rest of his life in prison. He's in solitary confinement now as Mueller's way of torturing him into submission. And yet he stands up to the thug.

Mueller is closing in. He and his Probers are like a pack of predators circling their prey. We don't know the final launch will be but it does feel that it is coming. The Jackels are on the prowl. They have the victim in their range. Trump seems also to sense that they are getting close.

You have misspelled 'jackal,' which I find noteworthy as you have produced a lengthy transcript attempting to defend the pack of them in and around the White House. Almost as if you shared the same space as the cackle of hyenas on Fox News.
 
 
+7 # Rcomm 2018-12-04 10:47
Have those of you in favor of impeachment considered the consequences?

pence is even more ruthless than trump but not nearly as stupid.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-05 08:43
This article is published in The Guardian. The author is a Guardian employee. I think there should be some price paid by The Guardian for its outrageous Fake News stories against someone like Assange. The recent front page artice by Luke Harding on Manafort's meeting with Assange was a deliberate fake story designed to mobilize other media and people against Assange by linking him to the Trump-Russia scandals.


RSN should boycott Guardian stories or clearly label them as "suspicious." Politico did the same thing and it too should be identified as a source of Fake News on certain subjects.


It is up to us to hold fake media accountable. We should stop being passive and letting this media get away with its propaganda. I'm not saying don't read it. We have to read everything (even FOX) but we need to call things by what they are.
 
 
+1 # croc1 2018-12-05 16:16
Dear Rod - your commentaries are most revealing. Apologists abound in the swamp we now call our government in DC, inhabited by a phalanx of misfits, including the president, bent on dismantling our government for their own ends - the endless lies, deceits, destruction of public lands, destruction of healthcare, social life-nets, theft and abuse of our tax dollars, abuse and misuse of power, trashing women's rights and the regard for women as chattel, human rights abuse, glorifying and befriending the worlds murderers, encouraging the violent, the anarchists, he racists, the bigots, preying on the weak and helpless for political gain etc. I could go on, but it is a waste of time dealing with ignorant, invertebrate, humans whose heads are in the sand and other places. I wonder what your comments might be if the same perversions were being done by a black president? Thank you for your comments. They are an encouragement for good people to vote to clean the rotting stench from the Washington swamp. And I don't mean snakes and alligators!
 

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