While Trump continues to take to Twitter on a regular basis, putting on one heck of a show for us in laughable attempts at creating distractions, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still quietly digging into the Trump-Russia scandal. Grand jury details reveal just how aggressively Mueller is going after Trump himself.
Just a few weeks ago, we heard that campaign co-chair Sam Clovis testified in a Trump related grand jury and we weren’t sure if it was on his own behalf or because he was flipping on someone.
Now we know that Robert Mueller has used the appearance to question Clovis, according to Reuters, about whether or not Trump knew about his collusion with Russia. This is big, folks. It shows Robert Mueller isn’t simply pursuing obstruction of justice charges.
“The ultimate question Mueller is after is whether candidate Trump and then President-elect Trump knew of the discussions going on with Russia, and who approved or even directed them,” said one source. The Reuters article says that Clovis is cooperated the whole way.
According to court documents related to Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, he reported to Clovis in an email on a March 24, 2016, meeting he had in London with a professor later identified as Joseph Mifsud.
Mifsud in turn introduced him to a Russian woman and the Russian ambassador in London, and they discussed setting up meetings to talk about U.S.-Russia ties in a Trump presidency.
The documents showed Clovis responded to the proposed meetings by saying he would “work it through the campaign.” While he told Papadopoulos not to make a commitment then to set up those meetings, he congratulated him for “great work.”
Keep in mind that Clovis was beneath only Trump and Manafort in the campaign pecking order, so he is definitely a person that would know whether or not Trump knew of any wrongdoing – and if so, it’s highly likely that he’s cooperating with Mueller.
Mueller is already knee-deep into investigating Trump specifically. We know this because he’s asking witness after witness questions that allow them to incriminate Trump with their answers, if they aren’t careful. Clearly, Mueller isn’t simply pursuing obstruction of justice for the firing of James Comey. It’s much more.
It’s also not hard to see that Mueller doesn’t need Paul Manafort in order to build a criminal case against Donald Trump, but he did go ahead and arrest Manafort, which surely caused those around Trump to panic and maybe even start talking to save their own skin.
We’ve thought all along that Mueller was working to build an obstruction of justice case against Trump, but now we know it appears that Mueller is trying to prove the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia were a crime in and of themselves.
Why is that important? Because it means Mueller’s investigation strongly suggests that Trump and/or others could in fact be charged with conspiracy against the United States, which is of course a federal crime.