Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara knows all about Donald Trump’s attempts at obstruction of justice, as Trump fired him to try to sabotage various New York-based federal investigations that would have led back to Trump. Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to begin arresting Trump’s co-conspirators on Monday, Bharara is hinting that Mueller may be arresting Trump’s people in order to set a trap for Trump himself.
This morning, Preet Bharara tweeted “This week, watch not only what Special Counsel Mueller does, but also how Trump responds.” He then appeared on CNN and advised everyone to watch and see if Trump tries to send a message to the arrestees, aimed at either trying to intimidate them into silence, or reassure them that he’ll take care of them. Either could be considered obstruction of justice, making it much easier for Mueller to turn around and indict Trump himself.
MSNBC host Ari Melber then linked to the CNN interview and added his own summation: “Key point from former prosecutor Preet Bharara – how someone under investigation reacts to other people’s indictments can matter a lot.” Expectations are that anyone from Paul Manafort to Michael Flynn to Jared Kushner could be arrested tomorrow. Trump is known to have remained in communication with all of them since they came under suspicion in the Trump-Russia investigation.
There is also the expectation that Donald Trump may try to pardon some or all of his co-conspirators who get arrested. However, it’s never been clearly defined whether or not the President of the United States has the Constitutional authority to pardon people in an attempt to prevent them from testifying against him. Any such pardons could end up in front of the Supreme Court – and in fact Mueller could legally interpret any attempts at pardons as being even further obstruction of justice.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report