Even though nuclear winter is fast approaching (Trump is tweeting about North Korea as I write this), I’m still feeling slightly optimistic. You know why? Because I am a believer in Robert Mueller. Call me crazy, tell me that my optimism is unwarranted and that we won’t even live to see the fruits of Mueller’s labor, I don’t care. It’s Mueller Time and I’m happy about it. To recap, Mueller’s investigation is so all-encompassing that he is looking into Donald Trump’s finances, Don Jr’s meeting with the Russians, the Mike Flynn saga (LOCK HIM UP), everything involving Jared Kushner, and of course, Paul Manafort. Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager last year, and Manafort was one of the first Russian-operative pennies to drop. Manafort has deep financial ties to Russia, and Manafort, it seems, is a snitch. Mueller has been all over Manafort, serving a pre-dawn search warrant on Manafort’s home last month. And now this:
Paul Manafort squealed to authorities about the now-infamous 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, Bloomberg reports in a piece about special counsel Robert Mueller putting the screws to the former Trump campaign manager. The revelation about the meeting, which Manafort attended, is buried in a story that emphasizes Mueller’s attempt to flip the 68-year-old Trump ally and make him an asset for the prosecution.
It’s unclear when Manafort told authorities about the meeting, which is a detail of some import. But if we assume Manafort tipped off investigators about the meeting before it became public last month, then he’s shown some openness to helping out the prosecution, which may give Mueller reason to believe he can be persuaded to fully switch sides.
That could explain why the special counsel is reportedly being so aggressive in his pursuit of Manafort’s records, sending grand jury subpoenas to banks, raiding his house, and expanding the probe to look into the business dealings of his business partner, Rick Gates, and his son-in-law.
Mueller’s investigation into Manafort was helped along by work done by former Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. When Bharara was fired in March, Mueller reportedly took over the probe into Manafort’s sketchy real-estate dealings in what appears to be an attempt to gain leverage over him.
As an anonymous source told Reuters a couple weeks back, “If Mueller’s team can threaten criminal charges against Manafort, they could use that as leverage to convince him to cooperate.” The revelation from Thursday’s Bloomberg report suggests it might already be working.
This is why I’m happy. We’re getting to the part of Trump-Russia investigation where insiders are snitching/squealing. We’re getting to the part where Manafort and maybe even Mike Flynn start throwing important people under the bus to save their own skins. Today it’s Manafort who squeals. Tomorrow it could be Precious Jared and Precious Ivanka. #TrumpImpeachmentParty y’all.
Photos courtesy of Getty.