CNN is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation may be nearing an end. Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates just added a Tom Green, prominent white-collar attorney, a signal that this might be a new approach to his not-guilty plea.
Gates pleaded not guilty in October to 8 charges of money laundering as well as not registering as a foreign lobbyist. Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, also pleaded not guilty to 9 counts in the same case.
The current FBI Director Christopher Wray has threatened to quit after coming under pressure from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to get rid of senior leadership figures dating from the Comey era, like deputy Andrew McCabe, that Trump believes are biased against him. The Washington Post is reporting that Trump demanded loyalty from not just Comey,
Shortly after President Trump fired his FBI director in May, he summoned to the Oval Office the bureau’s acting director for a get-to-know-you meeting.
The two men exchanged pleasantries, but before long, Trump, according to several current and former U.S. officials, asked Andrew McCabe a pointed question: Whom did he vote for in the 2016 election?
McCabe said he didn’t vote, according to the officials, who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about a sensitive matter.
Trump, the officials said, also vented his anger at McCabe over the several hundred thousand dollars in donations that his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.
Looks like a pattern, no?
Mueller’s requests suggest that he is going about the investigation in a methodical way, working his way from the lowest people on the list to the key figure, Trump, at the top of a rather large triangle.
Trump has said that he would be “100 percent” willing to testify to Mueller under oath. CNN has reported that some of Trump’s friends have warned him NOT to voluntarily submit to an interview.
And the wagons seem to be circling with all of these new revelations in the press. According to CNN,
The fact that Mueller’s team has already spoken to Comey and Sessions and now wants to talk to the President suggests the investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice by asking the former FBI director to go easy on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and then fired him when he demurred, is at an advanced stage. CNN also reported last week that Trump’s former top political adviser Steve Bannon had struck a deal to be interviewed by Mueller’s prosecutors.
“It seems to indicate that the investigation is in its 11th hour,” said Jens David Ohlin, a professor and vice dean at Cornell Law School.
Ohlin said the seniority of those questioned points to Mueller reaching a defining moment at least in the obstruction of justice portion of an investigation that is also considering whether anyone in the Trump campaign broke the law by cooperating with a Russian election meddling effort.
“We are at the top of the heap politically with Steve Bannon. We are at the top of the heap in terms of law enforcement in terms of the attorney general and the former head of the FBI,” said Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s former Republican attorney general.
“It strikes me they are getting near the end of gathering all their information, and then … they are going to have to process that and make some decisions about how to proceed,” Cuccinelli told CNN.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday that the White House is still “fully cooperative” with Mueller but believes that people are ready to move on. But a new CNN poll finds that 8 in 10 people said Trump should testify to Mueller if asked, including 59% of Republicans.
Innocent people have nothing to be afraid of, right? Only witches are afraid of witch hunts.