While we were all watching in amazement as Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump made conflicting statements of who paid whom when and for what purpose in the Stormy Daniels scandal, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was working behind the scenes and making moves in federal court that must have Trump’s legal team terrified.
On Thursday, it was reported that the special counsel had just requested 70 blank subpoenas for use in the upcoming case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who will be tried in Virginia later this year on charges ranging from bank fraud to conspiracy against the United States.
What exactly does Mueller plan to do with those subpoenas? Simple. He’s going to use them to force Manafort to testify against Trump.
While it’s safe to surmise that Mueller already has mountains of evidence he can use against Manafort — remember that early morning raid on Manafort’s house last July? — the special counsel is taking no chances, and he’s also planning to squeeze others into telling what they know about the Russiagate conspiracy and Manafort’s role in it.
Once the subpoenas are issued and the subjects appear before the grand jury, they’ll have no choice but to tell what they know about the 2016 election and Manafort’s many shady business dealings overseas. That testimony can then be used as a cudgel against Manafort, who could be facing decades behind bars if he’s convicted.
If Manafort does flip, that would be a terrifying development for the president. Manafort was the man with the deep connections to Russia and it’s suspected he’s the one that made the initial outreach to the Kremlin to see if they wanted to help Trump get elected.
The other bad news for Trump is that he’s now looking at fighting for his political life on multiple fronts: The Russia investigation and the more recent revelations about hush money payoffs to women Trump had affairs with. Imagine knowing you have to try and keep the wolves at bay when they’re already inside your house!
And if you’re wondering about a timeline for all of these multiple scandals to hit critical mass, many are predicting Trump is history before the end of spring. Tick tock, Donnie. Tick tock.