Sweating Out the First Weekend Before Russia Charges

The entire national media seems to be playing a game of Old Maid trying to figure out who is going to draw the last Queen in Bob Mueller's probe of darlings in his Russian nursery.

It appears someone will be brought before the Court Monday on an new Indictment. I'm not clear on whether it's one person or more, whether there will be a perp walk and public shaming arrest or a simple surrender to the Pretrial Services office, followed by an appearance in court for a first advisement and bond release, arraignment (or both.)

It seems to me the leaks are from defense counsel who have been given a heads-up to have their client show up at the courthouse, marshal's office or pretrial services office. (The days of public perp walks and shaming arrests, preferred by Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie when they were U.S. Attorneys, are long gone, and would give Trump and his followers something to whine about forever, distracting from whatever message Mueller is trying to send with this news. [More...]

My first suspicion (and that's all it is) is that this inaugural charge will be something along the lines of making a false Statement to a federal official or Obstruction of Justice or even Perjury before the grand jury -- and the person charged may not even be a key player. Mueller may be doing this to show he's serious and no one is going to stonewall him or get away with telling a tale instead of the truth. He also may be doing this to show someone who has been holding out against cooperating that he means business -- last chance to 'fess up and rat out the others before going through an expensive and public trial that will most likely result in a jail sentence.

So many of the people the FBI and then Team Mueller sought to speak with went voluntarily. One of the problems with submitting to voluntary interviews and not invoking the 5th Amendment when hauled before a grand jury is that there's very little you can do later if your truth doesn't match the Government's truth, other than take it to trial with the odds stacked against you. (Anyone remember Susan McDougal?)

Our jails are filled with people who thought if they could only tell their side of the story, the prosecutors would see it their way. It rarely happens. The Fifth Amendment is there for a reason: Use it or lose it.

My second suspicion is this relates more to Michael Flynn and/or his son than Manafort. (Of course, it could be both or a combination, or neither.) The timing of former CIA chief Woolsey's lawyer statement yesterday that Woolsey and his wife had co-operated with the probe, and Woolsey's connection to Flynn and their dueling plans to charge Turkey big bucks for a media campaign to get the guy Erdogan thinks is responsible for the coup in Turkey sent back there makes me suspicious. It sounds like the Woolseys sang for their supper and incriminated Flynn with a competing version of events. But I wonder, did the Woolseys get a complete pass, or half a pass (an offer to plead to a lesser charge with no prison time), for their cooperation? Did they change their original "truth" to match the Government's "truth," to get a deal for themselves by throwing others under the bus?

From the New York Times (modified for size):

I remember years ago how everyone speculated for weeks that Karl Rove's indictment was imminent in the Valerie Plame case. But he never was indicted, we were all wrong.

I have plenty of things to do this weekend so I'm going to resist sleuthing who Mueller's target(s) may be. But I'll bet there are several current and former Trump associates who are expecting this scenario Monday:

My intuition tells me that with only 5 months into this probe, Monday's charges will be the first, not the last, by Team Mueller, and they will not go to the heart of the issue (was there collusion with Russia by Team Trump, as opposed to just forgotten events, a lie or attempted coverup) as opposed to simple easily provable charges like lying, that allow Mueller to wield his cooperation hammer: Either play ball with us or we may supersede with additional charges, including against your family members, later.

I think it will be many months, if not longer, before Mueller & team complete the money laundering and election interference parts of their investigation. For now I think he's just making clear there's a new Sheriff in town, and people better play along with him.

< White House: All Women Who Accused Trump Were Lying | Do All Roads Lead Through Manafort? >
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    Jared? (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 03:55:43 PM EST
    lots of questions swirling around him from real estate dealings to selling green cards without even getting into all his many strange russia connections including the secret back channel thing.

    have to admit Jared might be even more satisfying than Don Jr.

    The green card deals were authorized (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:08:17 PM EST
    by federal law.

    well (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:21:28 PM EST
    you gat a 5 from you know who for correcting me.  congratulations.

    are you talking about this

    Federal prosecutors in New York subpoenaed the company of President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner late Wednesday over their use of the EB-5 federal visa program. The program issues green cards to immigrants who invest $500,000 in U.S.-based developments, 85 percent of which are Chinese.

    The irony of the subpoena is difficult to ignore. The Kushner family company is in trouble for essentially selling green cards at the same time the Trump administration is pushing a plan to curtail the number of green cards issued each year.  The new immigration policy President Trump rolled out Wednesday would crack down on legal immigration in favor of English-speaking, "high-skilled" workers. EB-5 applicants do not have a way of proving their level of "skill," beyond the ability to finance projects for U.S. developers.

    EB-5 visas, also known as "golden visas," have faced scrutiny for lack of oversight. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) went as far as to call the program a "magnet for fraud."  In 2015, the Government Accountability Office found that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (UCIS) did not have sufficient controls in place to identify potential fraud in the EB-5 program or to assess its economic impact. Trump reauthorized the EB-5 program the day before Jared's sister, Nicole Kushner, pitched the visas to potential foreign investors.

    thats from aug 5 couldnt find where is was ok.



    I see no info that the issue of (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 10:43:17 PM EST
    whether Kushner or his company violated the law re green cards has been resolved. An article I read discussed whether the NJ luxury development was "gerrymandered" to fit w/i the statute.

    I (none / 0) (#23)
    by FlJoe on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:28:57 PM EST
    have Jared as a long shot but if I was going to take a flyer on a dark horse I would lay money on Michael Cohen. Just a gut feeling, he is a relatively small fish who probably knows more abouts tRumps dealings over the past decade than anyone. If Mueller is going to work up the food chain towards tRump that would be a good start.

    This speculation is maddening, Mueller is operating in an extremely target rich environment, he probably already has a solid case against multiple players big and small. The range of possible charges is in a way more mind boggling, anything from the mundane failure to register/disclose, to lying to the FBI, to money laundering, to obstruction of justice, to
    criminal conspiracy with a foreign power and so on.


    a welcome madness (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:36:44 PM EST

    that POLITICO thing made a pretty good case for the sons of both Manafort and Flynn for the same reasons.


    i have a feeling (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:40:30 PM EST
    maybe more like a hope it will not be mundane.  to shut the right wing noise machine up I think it needs to be more than mundane.

    Trumps silence makes me hopeful about that.  it must be important to shut him up so totally.   i smell fear.


    I (none / 0) (#31)
    by FlJoe on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 05:55:46 AM EST
    also think Mueller's first punch is going to be a hard one. If this was a normal case you would expect the normal feints and jabs of the early rounds, however this from a normal case. IMO he has the goods on many if not most of the major players and has no real need to methodically work up the chain.



    Yes , (none / 0) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 08:29:51 AM EST
    it is unlikely that it will be either Robert in the mail room or Helen in accounting. A bigger fish as a sign, just like the no knock raid on Manafort's apartment.

    Ben Wittes of Lawfare (none / 0) (#2)
    by smott on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:16:58 PM EST
    Suggests that in fact defense counsel may not have been notified and the leak may be through law enforcement/DOJ.
    Jeralyn I wonder what your opinion is re that...?

    Additionally the sudden resignation of Boente seems huge. Just days ago (per Matthew Miller) he'd talked about looking fwd to returning to his job at EDVA, now he unexpectedly resigns.

    Is he a witness? What could this mean?

    Lastly, some have inferred that more than one person may be arrested Monday. Does that sound feasible? Given Mueller's reputation as being leak-free, could this mean he has a leaker and his hand is being forced?

    All your thought appreciated Jeralyn and thanks again for this great blog.

    i was wondering (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:20:12 PM EST
    if the leak was from defense how would that benefit the client?

    i also read Wittes and was asking about this in the other thread.


    Yeah dunno (none / 0) (#6)
    by smott on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:45:37 PM EST
    He suggested DOJ would be most likely source of leaks.

    Or perhaps a purposeful leak from Mueller?

    If not, now I wonder how his hand is being forced and if perhaps things start to happen quickly.


    thats what i thought (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:50:45 PM EST
    purposeful or not its going to be non stop hype and buildup to the big show.

    the sunday show should be worth watching.


    from the POLITICO link below (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 05:41:08 PM EST
    Speculation also was rising over who would release information that is sealed by a federal judge. "If the leaker isn't the defense, that could be a legal issue," said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago, though he said that his "gut" suggests the story came from a defense attorney "who was told to have his client in court on Monday."

    There are (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 06:53:51 PM EST
    some thoughts that Mueller leaked it to shake the trees so to speak and make many of them start thinking it could be them. Supposedly the lawyer is supposed to be notified but how far ahead do they have to be notified? Can the lawyer actually be notified Monday morning to show up in court on Monday?

    If a warrant has been issued on an (none / 0) (#27)
    by Peter G on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:43:57 PM EST
    indictment, it is entirely in the discretion and good graces of the prosecutor to withhold execution of the warrant (arrest), and for how long, as a courtesy to defense counsel. And if the indictment is sealed, I don't see that happening at all, frankly. There is no rule or other law that governs this situation.

    Why is the indictment sealed? (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 10:30:32 PM EST
    Is this out-of-the ordinary?

    Sorry to say that it is not unusual (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 10:03:06 AM EST
    Sealed indictments are used when the prosecutor wants the Magistrate Judge to issue a warrant rather than a summons to bring the indicted defendant before the court. Unfortunately, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure give that discretion to the prosecutor rather than to the judge, and do not express a preference for a summons (directive to present yourself in court to be advised of the charges and placed on bail) over a warrant (an order to a federal agent to bring the defendant by force and in custody to court for those purposes). You would hope that the prosecutor would seek a warrant (and seal the indictment) only when there is reason to be concerned that the accused will attempt to flee or destroy evidence. But sadly, warrants are also used too often to "send a message" to the defendant about who has the power, and to "persuade" them to cooperate or just to punish them summarily by the indignity and temporary detention that inherently comes with an arrest. I have seen too many cases where the defendant is arrested entirely unnecessarily in this way, only to be released on recognizance bond (a promise to appear) six or eight hours later after appearing before a magistrate.  See also my comment Friday night on this subject.

    Depending on who was (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 12:34:48 PM EST
    indicted, some of these guys are frequent flyers to far off foreign countries.

    I have twice experienced prosecutors (none / 0) (#47)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 01:13:07 PM EST
    or federal agents deliberately pulling this trick: Not issue a warrant for defendants with international connections, allow the suspects to remain free to turn themselves in, and wait at the airport for the suspects to attempt to leave the country. Then arrest them there for the underlying charge or for flight to avoid prosecution. A defendant who would otherwise have probably received a favorable bail decision now gets detained (jailed) pending trial (creating all sorts of disadvantages for the defense), and when convicted faces a higher sentence based on "obstruction of justice."  Also a devious but effective way to trap the accused into displaying "consciousness of guilt," which can be used as circumstantial evidence against them at trial.  

    I guess my bias as a former (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 01:24:01 PM EST
    prosecutor is taking over. I see nothing unethical/illegal. Felony dumb, yes.

    I didn't say it was either unethical or illegal. (none / 0) (#53)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 02:21:24 PM EST
    I said it was a trick. If the defendant falls for it, thinking s/he can outsmart the feds or presume them to be lazy, they are indeed, as you suggest Oculus, "dumb." And/or arrogant in their presumption of superiority in the cleverness realm.

    Can (none / 0) (#54)
    by FlJoe on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 02:32:46 PM EST
    we stipulate that there is no shortage of dumbness among the possible targets?

    Looks like Mueller (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:21:07 PM EST
    is rolling it out.  Surely the increasing drum beat of the White House and Republicans against Mueller and efforts to deflect and cover up have added urgency to assure the public that this is not a political witch hunt.

    Panic seems to reign in Trumpland with everything being thrown against the wall, hoping something will stick. All the great Hillary hits have been cranked up including the Dossier, uranium, emails, and a progression from locking her up to rolling out "old sparky."

    Congressional Republicans have now circled the wagons and left Corker/Flake/McCain hanging in the wind; the House and Senate investigations have slowed or halted.  And, the big one: demonizing, impuning the integrity of Mueller, and even,  calling on Mueller to resign.  

    In view of the indictment speculation being bruited about by the media, it may be smart for Mueller to announce the subjects of any indictments today or tomorrow to head off some of the propaganda machine working overtime over the weekend, if not, a Saturday Night massacre-type debacle by Trump.

    The indicted person(s) may be the low, but lush, hanging fruit, of Manafort or Flynn (Russian collusion emphasis) and/or more along the lines of obstruction of justice/money and closer to home(Kushner), although there seems to be a mix of issues for all and in each case. Probably someone at center, not one who is at the perimeter right out of the gate.

    not a single (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:27:34 PM EST
    tweet though.   Trump is probably locked in a room with a cell blocker.

    And Melania's working on the guest list (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:54:39 PM EST
    for the Constitutional Crisis Ball to be held at Mar-a-Lago...

    Trump tweeted about Michael (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:13:31 PM EST
    Moore's Broadway show closing.

    Wonder how the markets react to (none / 0) (#11)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 05:00:14 PM EST
    a genuine Constitutional crisis, because that's where I think we're heading.

    I don't even think we've seen the full extent of how unstable and reactive Trump is; I just hope that those closest to him can do the right thing and contain him before the world goes up in flames.

    No one person is worth the kind of mayhem Trump could inflict.


    i don't see it (none / 0) (#12)
    by linea on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 05:23:11 PM EST
    i don't see how we get from...

    members of the trump team making a false Statement to a federal official or Obstruction of Justice or even Perjury before the grand jury ...

    or manafort, et alia, perhaps getting charged with money laundering, not filing federal paperwork when acting as a foreign agent, and possibly tax evasion ...

    ... to a constitutional crisis or a call for impeachment of the president.

    more likely this will be just like bridgegate. is Chris Christie at the beach?


    I think we get there pretty quick (none / 0) (#17)
    by smott on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 06:21:10 PM EST
    If Trump fires Mueller, which I'm certain he will try to do. Probably very soon.

    Considering that military families (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 09:19:26 AM EST
    Are now being asked to voluntarily evacuate South Korea, I think this administration is going to take us into a war in order to hold power. We don't change horses midstream held the White House for Dubya.

    And the ISIS offensive started this way. They first asked military families to leave Turkey voluntarily. It's easier than forcing a mass exodus. We always have some families who want to return to the states as soon as possible. They are more than happy to pack immediately and go. A few months later after they've cleared the voluntary, then they mandatory evacuate the remaining military families.

    I think they are going to hide a lot of the voluntary evacuees in this current evacuation exercise in South Korea as long as they can. Which won't be long.

    Obviously there is a "military solution" to North Korea on the table right now. And since 9/11, once a military solution makes it to the table it seems damn near impossible to stop it.


    Well it's Saturday Night (none / 0) (#7)
    by smott on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:48:46 PM EST
    You have to expect Trump will attempt to fire Mueller.

    In fact I read that this was why Boente resigned - he was asked to do the deed....

    read that too (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 04:53:18 PM EST
    totally possible.  i can imagine him being physically restrained.  if he does or if he starts talking about pardons things are going to get interesting really fast.

    OH he will pardon everyone (none / 0) (#15)
    by smott on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 06:01:00 PM EST
    charged at a federal level, count on it. KUshner, Don Jr, all fam members.
    It's the state level charges Trump cannot pardon, so here's hoping NY AG Schneiderman is locked and loaded.

    IANAL but I thought that once you accept a pardon you essentially admit guilt to the related charge. So if there's overlap with for ex NY State RICO charges and Mueller's work,  folks who accept Trump's pardon may be setting themselves up for Schneiderman.

    I think a giant game of chess is commencing.


    Yeah, but I would (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 06:58:55 PM EST
    think he would have first asked Rosenstein to do it. Maybe he did and Rosenstein just stayed on whereas Boente quit because of it.  

    Wouldn't the Attorney General be the one (none / 0) (#25)
    by Peter G on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 08:37:19 PM EST
    to carry out a pr*sidential (foolish, self-destructive) order to discharge the special counsel? And the chain of authority under the AG goes through the Deputy (Rosenstein), Associate AG, and Solicitor General before it gets to the Assistant AG's, like Boente. So that theory makes no sense to me.

    I dont' (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 05:39:17 AM EST
    know since the neo confederate elf recused himself from anything having to do with Russia. So would Sessions have authority to fire Mueller if that were the case? I know Sessions did not appoint Mueller being already recused.

    Even if the recusal applies (which it might) (none / 0) (#35)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 09:40:34 AM EST
    there are still two levels of DoJ authority above any Ass't Atty General, as I pointed out.

    POLITICO (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 05:37:49 PM EST
    While the report did not cite names, attorneys close to the case said they were discussing whether the indictment was for two known Mueller targets: former campaign chairman Paul Manafort or former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    Several attorneys who said they were in touch with the Manafort and Flynn lawyers said they had not been notified of any matter related to an indictment -- which is customary in a white-collar criminal investigation -- leading them to believe it wasn't either of those two former high-ranking Trump aides. An attorney for Manafort did not respond to a request for comment. Michael Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment.

    The attorneys close to the case also said they wouldn't be surprised if the charges were targeting Flynn or Manafort family members, or a longtime accountant or lawyer

    For example, an indictment of Flynn's son, who worked for his father's lobbying firm, could put pressure on Flynn to begin to cooperate with investigators. Flynn and his son have been under scrutiny for their lobbying work on behalf of a Turkish client with ties to the country's authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Flynn Jr. also accompanied his father to Moscow in December 2015 for a paid speech, which Putin attended, celebrating the Russian propaganda outlet RT. Michael Flynn did not disclose the payments in his application to renew his security clearance in 2016; the Democratic and GOP leaders of the House Oversight Committee earlier this year said that was likely an illegal omission.


    Loved reading this Diary (none / 0) (#16)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 28, 2017 at 06:19:56 PM EST
    Here we go.....

    Conspiracy (none / 0) (#32)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 07:44:19 AM EST
    If I am not mistaken, collusion refers to price fixing. No one is going to be charged with price fixing.

    Shouldn't we be calling it what it is- conspiracy to violate one or more election laws or computer hacking laws as well as obstruction of justice and perjury where appropriate?

    I like (none / 0) (#37)
    by Zorba on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 11:20:43 AM EST
    "obstruction of justice" and "perjury," at least to start with.
    I would think that both would constitute "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" if the President is in any way implicated in any or all of this.

    See my post below where (none / 0) (#39)
    by ragebot on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 11:30:08 AM EST
    I asked Peter G to comment on collusion.  My understanding collusion is a nothing burger.  It is not mentioned in any criminal code.  It is a word used to describe what may be unseemly conduct, but not conduct against the law.

    Most of the speculation I have seen has been along the lines of any indictment being along the lines of technical violations like failing to report transferring more thant $US10,000 or not reporting being an agent for a foreign power.  Not trying to down play these charges, just saying they are a far cry from conspiring.

    Perjury charges cover a wide range of acts, some inadvertent or forgetful, and others a deliberate attempt to lie.  If they are of the former that will not be a good PR issue for Muller.


    Collusion is just a layman's word for (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 12:52:40 PM EST
    conspiracy -- agreeing to commit an unlawful act.
    Don't forget about the the crime of attempt, or aiding and abetting liability. Or that willful blindness can make one criminally responsible.

    Perjury is simply telling a lie during sworn testimony. Making a false statement -- think Martha Stuart -- frequently occurs during interviews with law enforcement, it doesn't have to be sworn.

    Obstruction of justice is the crime I think Mueller can hang Trump on -- for firing Comey to block his investigation of Trump and children and aides. A jury is allowed to use their reason and common sense and make inferences from circumstantial evidence -- such as Trump's anger at Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

    I think if Mueller stays on this, and Trump doesn't pull another Saturday night massacre like he did with Comey, he's got problems.


    This is why I think we should use the correct term (none / 0) (#55)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 02:36:15 PM EST
    Conspiracy is the correct. term. I think we should stop using lay terms for this.

    It is not a far cry from conspiracy. I would be willing to bet two or more members of the Trump campaign agreed to commit criminal acts in fixing the election.


    And if a crime was committed, and someone (none / 0) (#56)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 03:14:29 PM EST
    urged ("counseled" is the legal term) that the crime be committed, then "aiding and abetting" is the other form of "collusion" that is criminally punishable, as J pointed out.

    it seems to me (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 03:16:57 PM EST
    if conspiracy is charged it would be pretty hard to not at least see some in congress as, what are they called, "unindicted co-conspirators"?

    I could be wrong, but I think there is precedent (none / 0) (#61)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 03:55:25 PM EST
    for indicting sitting members of congress. As far as I know the tern un-indicted co-conspirator because a Special Prosector did not think he could indict a sitting president. A legal position Ken Starr did not share, yet for some reason chose not to indict.... hmmm.....

    Absolutely. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 05:17:08 PM EST
    Only the "Speech or Debate Clause" limits (and then, only narrowly according to the Supreme Court) what sitting members of Congress can be indicted for.

    Some explications of the Speech or Debate (none / 0) (#64)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 08:15:48 PM EST
    Not sure this is a good thing for (none / 0) (#38)
    by ragebot on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 11:23:32 AM EST
    Muller.  Even if this is the best case scenario it would be that Muller was able to get who ever is charged to roll over on higher ups and went ahead and charged them.  On the other hand if the person charged did not roll over it means Muller has charged them as a threat.  Problem with that is Trump has the option to pardon the person.  Unless the charge is really on point to Trump (or his underlings) conspiring with the Russians Trump may have the high ground in claiming the pardon was issued due to a heavy handed prosecutor on a fishing expedition with nothing but obscure technical violations.

    On the other hand if the charges are more of a speaking nature Trump would not have such high ground in issuing a pardon.  But from a PR standpoint Muller will still have to defend his actions.  Already there are questions in some quarters about how long this, and other, investigations having been going on with few tangible public results.  So Muller man get grief if this indictment is not a grand slam; something few have speculated it will be.

    There is also the issue of tangible public results.  Unless a defense lawyer released news of the indictment it was a violation of law.  If it came from Muller's team the fact that some on his team violated the law will only produce more claims of a run away prosecutor.

    Most of the speculation is that the indictment will be of a small fry on charges unrelated to Trump or Trump's dealing with Russia.

    And one question for Peter G.  Could you comment on the difference between collusion and conspiracy; in particular on which is a crime and which is a meh.

    Mueller (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Zorba on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 05:59:10 PM EST
    His name is spelled "Mueller."  Not "Muller."

    Nevertheless, it is pronounced (none / 0) (#65)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 08:18:01 PM EST

    Nevertheless, (none / 0) (#66)
    by Zorba on Mon Oct 30, 2017 at 08:59:52 AM EST
    I was referring to how it was spelled, not how it was pronounced.

    I was elaborating on your comment (none / 0) (#67)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 30, 2017 at 09:46:59 AM EST
    not criticizing it, my friend.

    Okay, Peter (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Zorba on Mon Oct 30, 2017 at 10:15:27 AM EST
    I'm too distracted by who they're going to arrest next.  Or who is going to plead guilty.

    Why spend so much time an energy now? (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 12:36:42 PM EST
    We should have facts Monday.

    Pretty obvious (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 12:40:38 PM EST
    isn't it?

    Part of the talking points/plan, (none / 0) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 02:15:31 PM EST
    get out front so as to drown facts with alternative facts, i.e., lies.

    Mike Flynn really broke the law as (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 12:44:06 PM EST
    A retired General. I don't see how he doesn't start this whole process arrested.

    He should lose his retirement too.


    Manafort (none / 0) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 12:49:21 PM EST
    and Flynn are the most obvious ones. It looks like Manafort has been laundering money for the Russians and Flynn definitely lied on all his forms along with other things.

    The real conspiracy meat seems to be surrounding Cambridge Analytics and the people around them such as the Mercers, Jared, Kelly, Bannon etc.  


    He was not allowed to represent any foreign (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 01:19:18 PM EST
    Government without prior authorization from his own government. He wasn't even allowed to lobby in any form until he was retired for 24 mos. He broke both of those laws.

    Honestly (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 01:36:11 PM EST
    Flynn did so much either illegal or unethical stuff it's hard to keep up. What is wrong with this guy? Is his hatred for Hillary and Obama so strong that he is willing to commit crimes?

    But he's a Democrat :) (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 01:45:38 PM EST
    Maybe he's just always been nuts

    So much speculation (none / 0) (#59)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 03:48:47 PM EST
    As always, in the direction of minimizing the potential charges faced by those close to Trump.



    pipe dream (none / 0) (#40)
    by leap on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 11:57:47 AM EST
    any update on the Gubarev-Buzzfeed lawsuit? (none / 0) (#58)
    by linea on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 03:31:13 PM EST
    last i heard, "Steele is fighting the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, of the Southern District of Florida that he must answer questions in the suit against BuzzFeed."

    Aleksej Gubarev also has a slander suit in London against Steele, "who admitted in a court filing first reported by The Washington Times that he never verified the charge information."

    my guess - this ends up as a Gawker + BridgeGate incident. BuzzFeed loses a slander lawsuit in florida, Steele loses a slander lawsuit in london, Flynn violated a bunch of rules, and Manafort has been playing fast-and-loose for years. toss in a few other minor charactors who didn't file the proper federal paperwork and obstructed trying to cover their butts and we're done. that's my best guess.

    Good to hear (none / 0) (#60)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 29, 2017 at 03:53:52 PM EST
    That means it's virtually guaranteed the charges will be much more serious and wide spread than I was originally thinking.