The investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal and coverup has now reached the stage where federal judges are issuing warrants and people’s homes are being raided. Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was the first, and now White House staffers are badly rattled and wondering if they’re going to be the next to be targeted in the criminal probe.
That’s the word according to political insider Jon Cooper, who shared the following based on his own inside sourcing: “It’s hard to convey how badly rattled WH aides are by the FBI’s predawn raid on Manafort’s home. They’re all wondering who will be next” (link). Of course Manafort’s home was raided for a reason. He’s suspected of everything from failing to register as a foreign agent, to illegally stashing money in overseas accounts, to involvement with Russian money laundering. To sign off on the warrant, the judge in question had to have believed there was probable cause for one or more of these alleged crimes, and that Manafort’s cooperation was insufficient to continue relying on less intrusive methods of evidence gathering. Legally speaking, Manafort must have had it coming. But still, the raid is a stunning development.
Many or most White House staffers working with Donald Trump will be brought into the investigation at some point. Even if they weren’t a part of Trump’s team back when he colluded with Russia to rig the election, they’ll be expected to testify about everything they’ve seen and heard during their time in the White House that might be remotely relevant to the investigation. And failure to cooperate could indeed put them in the crosshairs of the next subpoena or warrant or raid.
It’s enough to make reasonable White House staffers ask themselves why they decided to go to work for such an obviously corrupt and illegitimate “president” like Donald Trump to begin with. His scandals and criminal antics were always going to eventually become a liability for everyone standing too close to him. And now his staffers are beginning to see that play out up close.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report