In the past forty-eight hours we’ve learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is suddenly subpoenaing Donald Trump’s business associates in aggressive fashion, and that Mueller seized Paul Manafort’s bank accounts last year. The former provides a clue as to just how thoroughly Mueller is going after every aspect of Trump’s lifetime of crime, above and beyond the stolen election. The latter, which Mueller made a point of including in court filings just now, may be the real story.
Why would Mueller choose now to use court filings to make public the fact that he seized Manafort’s financial assets six months ago? From a trial and prosecution standpoint, there was no need. Manafort certainly already knows that Mueller seized his bank accounts last year. Yet we’ve seen time and again that Mueller has tossed details into his court filings which very much seemed timed to deliver a message.
So it stands out that Mueller is now essentially bragging about his previous Trump-Russia asset seizures, just as he’s moving in on Donald Trump’s business partners. Clearly he’s willing to go after their money if it was ill-gotten, as evidenced by the fact that he just subpoenaed them in a major criminal investigation. Mueller is grilling these Trump business associates about their interactions with Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen, and clearly Mueller is willing to go after Cohen’s money if it was illegally obtained. But based on the fact that Cohen had to take out a home equity loan just to pay Stormy Daniels, it doesn’t appear he has any money to be seized.
This message is being aimed at one person: Donald Trump. For reasons thus far only known for sure to him, Robert Mueller is now sending a clear signal to Trump that he’s going to seize any assets that Trump obtained illegally. Mueller is clearly not quite in legal position to do it yet, or he’d just do it instead of broadcasting it. The big question here is why Mueller wants Trump to know that he’s eventually going to go after his money.
The most logical conclusion would be that Robert Mueller has thought long and hard about how he’s going to force Donald Trump to resign from his stolen presidency when the time comes. Mueller seems to be saying that if Trump refuses to leave office once he’s been proven guilty, Mueller will simply begin taking away all his bank accounts and real estate properties. Trump is going to lose all of that in the end anyway – but don’t tell that to him. Trump may mistakenly think his chances of keeping his money are better if he resigns sooner, and Mueller seems to be steering him in that direction. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report