When Donald Trump abruptly fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara earlier this year, Bharara was in the midst of prosecuting several cases that could have exposed the criminal activities of Trump and his allies. It’s still unclear precisely why Trump pulled the trigger on Bharara when he did. But now Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just found a way to make Trump pay for having fired Bharara, by using one of Bharara’s own former cases against Trump.
Bharara, who was based in New York, was helping lead an investigation into Deutsche Bank, which had been caught facilitating the laundering of billions of dollars of Russian money into the hands of clients in places like New York City. It just so happens that Deutsche Bank has loaned a tremendous amount of money to Donald Trump over the past decade, even as nearly every other bank in the world turned him away. It’s widely suspected that Russia was using Deutsche to funnel money to Trump. If Bharara had remained on the job any longer, he may or may not have been able to prove as much.
In the time since Trump fired Bharara, the investigation into Deutsche Bank and its Russian money laundering had largely gone cold – or so we were led to believe. Instead we’re now learning that Mueller has been hammering away at all this time behind the scenes, and as of yesterday, Deutsche Bank has turned over financial records which will likely prove that Russia was indeed funneling money to Trump. Mueller has almost certainly been using Bharara’s prior Deutsche-Russia probe as a basis for his own inquiries, and as Mueller has greater resources available, he’s managed to succeed.
When Donald Trump tried to derail the Trump-Russia investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey, it backfired on him and resulted in the appointment of Robert Mueller. When Trump fired Bharara, it backfired and resulted in Deutsche Bank’s cooperation in the Trump-Russia investigation. Each time Trump obstructs justice to try to save himself, it only makes things worse for him in the end.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report