It appears that Donald Trump is about to step into the elaborate trap that has been set for him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and with his every tweet or statement, Trump is only making the case against him stronger.
For months now, Mueller and his team have been compiling a list of all the instances when Trump obstructed or attempted to obstruct justice as it relates to the Russia investigation. And Mueller has been waiting for his interview with Trump to complete the report he plans to present regarding the matter of obstruction. But Trump is now hinting he doesn’t plan to sit for such an interview.
Originally, according to NBC News, Mueller had planned to wrap up the obstruction case and give his report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by May or even July:
“Prior to Monday’s raid, Mueller’s team had been aiming to finalize a report on its findings on whether the president has tried to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation in the coming months, as early as May or as late as July, three sources said. That timeline hinged in part on reaching a decision on a presidential interview, these people said. One person familiar with the investigation described a decision on an interview as one of the last steps Mueller was seeking to take before closing his investigation into obstruction.
“Now, according to two sources, Mueller’s team may be able to close the obstruction probe more quickly as they will not need to prepare for the interview or follow up on what the president says.”
What will be in that report? Based on what we know so far, here are the most damning instances of obstruction of justice that will be cited by the special counsel:
- Trump’s intent to fire FBI Director James Comey.
- Trump’s role in helping to craft a “cover story” for what took place at the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian officials in June of 2016.
- The dangling of pardons for those who might testify against the president to the Mueller grand jury.
- Trump’s attempt to pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions into not recusing himself from overseeing the Russia probe.
If Mueller and his team were planning to hold off until May before they leveled the obstruction charges against Trump, they are now under no constraints to do so because Trump has managed to move up the timeline for the report that would then become evidence for impeachment proceedings against the president.
While rumors continue to swirl suggesting that Trump is on the verge of firing both Sessions and Rosenstein, Mueller has already made his case against Trump, so nothing the president does now can forestall the inevitable. Robert Mueller has Donald Trump in checkmate and is about to clear the chessboard.