Monday, November 20, 2017

We’ve Only Just Begun

Somehow the Trump folks think the Russia investigation is almost over.  People within the White House are going on TV and saying that Robert Mueller and his team will wrap it up “soon,” which to them means any time between next week and January.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and anyone who thinks a probe such as this will end soon is doing a lot of wishful thinking and doesn’t understand how federal investigations work.

Seth Abramson, a long-time criminal attorney, analyzes the facts via this Twitter feed.  The short version is that there are so many leads, threads, and people to interview that in terms of completion, they have only just begun.

But wait, there’s more.

Special CounselRobert Mueller‘s team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller’s investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein played key roles in Comey’s removal. And Sessions has since faced withering criticism from Trump over his recusal and Rosenstein’s subsequent appointment of Mueller.

Mueller’s investigators now seek not only communications between Justice Department officials themselves, but also any communications with White House counterparts, the source said. Before this request, investigators asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, ABC News was told.

The latest move suggests the Special Counsel is still actively digging into, among other matters, whether Trump or any other administration official improperly tried to influence an ongoing investigation.

So not only is the Mueller team looking into Russia’s role in the election and the Trump campaign’s involvement with their meddling, they are now looking into Trump’s attempt to kill the investigation itself, which could amount to federal charges of obstruction of justice.

A reminder for those of you too young to remember Watergate: That’s how they got Nixon.  It wasn’t the crimes themselves, but the attempt to cover up and kill the investigation.

HT to CLW.