Now that Donald Trump has informed his attorneys he doesn’t plan to sit down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, things are about to start moving very quickly in the Russia investigation.
The main focus in the weeks ahead, it seems safe to say, will be on additional indictments and plea agreements which will be unsealed in court and made public. All of this is likely to happen in rapid-fire succession, with one name after another being called on the court docket in both Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, where grand juries have been empaneled by Mueller.
During a discussion of the Russia probe Sunday on MSNBC, host Richard Lui noted that Trump is vulnerable on the firing of FBI Director James Comey, which may constitute obstruction of justice, and also:
“Crafting a misleading statement on the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians … dangling pardons before grand jury witnesses who may testify against him, and pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.”
Republican strategist Susan Del Percio, however, said it goes beyond those four key points:
“I think it’s not one or the other. I think it’s just the overall broadness of wanting to prevent justice from happening and prevent the investigation.”
Del Percio then went on to add:
“And that’s a better narrative for the folks, for the Justice Department, frankly, if they’re going to pursue this. None of those four on its own would necessarily lead to criminal charges and it doesn’t seem that’s where they’re going. Just to talk about the fact that Donald Trump may not be doing an interview — just to step back on that, let’s not forget this may work out better for Mueller because he may be able to wrap things up way before the 2018 elections.”
Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Howard Dean then commented:
“I think there’s going to have to be more — I think that’s a start. But that doesn’t really address the issue of collusion. I think there’s a fair amount of evidence that there is — has been collusion. We don’t know that for a fact, but we sure do know that the noose is tightening.”
“If it turns out that Cohen really did go to Prague and talk to the Russians, as people have alleged and has been in print, then you start to get a pretty good case for collusion.”
The list of likely charges against Trump include conspiracy against the United States, money laundering, tax fraud, wire fraud, election fraud, and obstruction of justice.
No matter when Mueller reveals the rest of his indictments, rest assured that Donald Trump will either be named on several of those indictments or listed as an unindicted co-conspirator. And when that happens, the pressure will force Trump to either resign or become the first president in American history to be impeached, found guilty, and booted from office.