Donald Trump keeps saying that he’ll leave the federal government shut down for years if necessary, which is kind of hilarious considering that the way he’s going, his presidency could end in ouster within months. But Trump’s hyperbolic threat has led some to ask if perhaps he’s leaving the government shut down because he thinks it’ll prevent Robert Mueller from being able to use the court system to nail him. Well, so much for that theory.
Earlier today the Supreme Court sided with Robert Mueller and against the mystery foreign government-owned company that had been trying to defy his subpoena. But it’s not just the Special Counsel and the Supreme Court that are still in action. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York obtained a grand jury criminal indictment today against Donald Trump Jr’s favorite Kremlin operative Natalia Veselnitskaya.
In other words, prosecutors, grand juries, courtrooms, and judges are still as fully functional as they need to be. If the shutdown keeps dragging on, there may be some triage in terms of the courts having to scale back on their less important functions. But the civil cases would go first, then the minor criminal cases, and so on.
We’ve already seen the U.S Court of Appeals establish that Robert Mueller’s investigation is the top priority in the American federal court system, period. The courts will have no trouble making sure that Mueller and his allies can do whatever they need to do, no matter how long the shutdown might drag on. We don’t believe this was Trump’s strategy; this is a just a tantrum from a guy who’s already lost. But if it was his strategy, it’s clearly failed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report