Donald Trump gave an empty, robotic, and pointless State of the Union address on Tuesday night which will be all but forgotten about by both sides within a day or two. Trump’s scandals, particularly his Russia scandal, are now the central issue in his presidency. How much longer before Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in legal position to take him down? How much more of the government will Trump annihilate in the name of trying to fend off the investigation? While Trump was blathering on Tuesday, Mueller was turning the screws behind the scenes.
In addition to his ongoing investigations into Trump’s various other crimes including money laundering and conspiracy to rig the election, Mueller is making a bee line toward trying to pin Trump down on obstruction of justice. It’s the quickest and easiest to prove; it’s what took down Richard Nixon. In comparison to the typically glacial pace of these kinds of investigations, Mueller is moving at comparative light speed. That said, because he’s trying to take down the sitting President of the United States, he must prove his case in overwhelming fashion. Now he’s found an inside witness who could cement things for him.
After the media exposed that Donald Trump Jr had met with the Russian government during the campaign in the hope of altering the outcome of the election, Donald Trump met with his top political and legal advisers to form a strategy for how to lie about the meeting. This conversation prompted the spokesman for Trump’s legal team, Mark Corallo, to promptly resign. Why? Presumably because Corallo is a lawyer, and he knows conspiracy to commit felony obstruction of justice when he sees it, and he wanted no part of it. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal (link), Mueller is seeking to interview Corallo. Why is this so important?
Donald Trump’s political advisers were witnesses to this conversation, and some of them have already given cooperating testimony about it to Robert Mueller. But they’re all Trump flunkies, and while they may have given Mueller enough to avoid getting charged themselves, they may have also tried to tamp down their descriptions of what Trump did. Mark Corallo, on the other hand, is an attorney who found the conversation to be so criminal in nature, he resigned over it. He’s not going to hold back. Perhaps more importantly, because Corallo witnessed his client Trump conspiring to commit a crime, there is no attorney client privilege here.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report