As we sit and watch returns from this year’s midterm election, the White House will be on pins and needles for a reason that is only partially related to the outcome of the balloting.
According to new reporting from Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair, West Wing officials are dreading the next moves from Special Counsel Robert Mueller as the Russia investigation again takes center stage. And most of the concern is focused on Donald Trump Jr., who could be indicted as soon as Wednesday, November 7:
“Sources say besides the president, the ones with the most exposure are Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. ‘I’m very worried about Don Jr.,’ said another former West Wing official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The possible exposure would be that Mueller would demonstrate that Don Jr. perjured himself to investigators when he said he didn’t tell his father beforehand about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to gather ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton.”
If Don Jr. did perjure himself, that would give Mueller leverage he could use in order to compel Junior to either cooperate or face significant jail time. And even if the president were to offer a full pardon to his oldest son, that won’t be the end of the story because law enforcement officials in New York are also looking into that Trump Tower meeting. The president has zero pardon power in New York. Also, a presidential pardon on federal charges would create the impression that Don Jr. is guilty.
So what exactly are we about to see from Robert Mueller? More indictments, more plea deals with cooperating witnesses, and eventually a report he will submit to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who may soon be fired, along with his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
But here’s the conundrum for Trump: If he tries to end the Russia probe, that will likely trigger impeachment. If he takes a hands-off approach and just rides out the storm, the final Mueller report may spell game over for him. In other words, Trump is in the classic no-win situation, and his crimes are about to catch up with him and his family.