With Trump impeachment and 25th amendment conversations part of everyday vernacular in America, a national security expert has gone on the record to suggest that come Thanksgiving, turkeys may not be the only pardons under consideration from the Trump White House. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Juliette Kayyem, a national security expert and CNN contributor, recently said that she thought it was “safe to say” that Thanksgiving will bring some boom moments from special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the White House.
Whether that is true remains to be seen. However, there has been movement in the Robert Mueller investigation of the Trump-Russia collusion scandal that suggests something big is about to drop. Even so, if a Trump impeachment is the result, it is still a long time away.
What Kayyem said exactly was that “before Thanksgiving… something’s going to drop with Mueller.” Kayyem also noted that the pace of the investigation and leaks of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation “is too much right now.”
There has been a lot of Russia chatter in mainstream media lately, with a lot of the chatter this week being related to the Steele dossier. Kayyem called it “background noise.”
“This is so close to the Oval Office now, if not in the Oval Office, that all of this dossier news to me is just background noise to what Mueller is going to deliver. This is more than an obstruction charge. There is something big underlying the obstruction.”
Outside of the background noise, tangible movement in the Robert Mueller investigation can be seen. Not only are we seeing movement in the investigation, but public movement is happening as well. Now, big names are coming out asking Donald Trump to denounce a foreign subversion of America’s democratic process.
Just this past week, the Economist reports that former President George W. Bush said the following of the Russia scandal.
“According to our intelligence services, the Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other. Foreign aggressions should not be downplayed or tolerated.”
Watch this video where President George W. Bush speaks almost as if he is still leading the country again, when he says, “Our country must show resolve and resilience in the face of external attacks on our democracy.”
Even Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina this week said that Donald Trump has “a blind spot on Russia I still can’t figure out.”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 22, 2017
That blind spot is what Robert Mueller is investigating. But he is only investigating the possible criminal aspect of things and would have no vote in a Trump impeachment. That would be up to a majority vote in the lower chamber in Congress, and a two-thirds vote in the upper chamber, which is still very far away and, some say, unlikely.
But the criminal aspect of things, if Trump is implicated, would be grounds for that process to begin.
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was the subject of a second money-laundering probe. Additionally, Congress is running three of their own separate investigations into the Trump-Russia collusion story.
Despite the speculations that are pounced upon the moment those variables are disseminated to the public, special prosecutor Robert Mueller has yet to say when his investigation will be complete or whether criminal charges will ensue. That being said, there are some clues that criminal charges could be on his mind.
A grand jury has convened, a second money laundering probe in Trump’s campaign manager was announced this week, and a team of prosecutors who levy charges are all such clues. Still, these correlations do not imply causations that result in criminal charges, nor would they guarantee a Trump impeachment.
Sources close to Mr. Mueller say on the condition of anonymity that Americans may need to ready themselves for an ending to Mueller’s work that is more political and less criminal.
At the same time, a general rule of thumb in the legal, and certainly the criminal justice community, is that most prosecutors do not take on cases they think they won’t win.
This week, a lot of dramatic scrambling from both sides of the aisle occurred and centered around the infamous Steele dossier. As with every story that takes place in highly partisan politics, both sides are pointing fingers at the other.
The facts around the Steele dossier are as follows. One party commissioned a former intelligence agent from the United Kingdom to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump. This is not illegal. This was also not the Democratic Party.
The Steele dossier has not been verified in its entirety, although some members of the intelligence community say they have verified some parts of it.
Today, Republicans are saying this is all the Democrats fault. They have also revisited the old scandal of Hillary Clinton allegedly selling uranium to Russia. She did not. The Inquisitr has previously fact-checked the Hillary Clinton uranium story and how it originated from the book Clinton Cash, authored by a known Trump backer.
Former presidents have denounced the Russian involvement in the American election. Donald Trump has not. Instead, this week, some Republicans in Congress have been deflecting the conversation back to the Steele dossier and their allegations of Democratic involvement.
Representative Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Representative Devin Nunes are the two Republicans making waves on the topic this week. Representative Nunes said in an interview with Fox News that the Steele dossier was paid for by the opposition party. He also contradicted himself when he said the following.
“The Democrats are looking for Russians behind every tree… but I personally take the Russian threat very, very seriously.”
Watch that in this clip here.
Devin Nunes says it's the Dems fault that Trump colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 campaign.
— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 27, 2017
There are conflicting reports on who actually paid for the Steele dossier. The Republicans say that the Democrats did, but Reuters reports that the Democrats only did “in part.”
Reuters reported in January of this year that it was BBC News that first said Steele was originally hired by a company known as Fusion GPS and was hired by “unidentified Republicans” hoping to stop Trump from entering a bid for the party’s nomination.
BBC News also said that it was Jeb Bush who was part of the hiring of Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s alleged Russian connections through Christopher Steele. BBC News later walked that back, saying they “misspoke,” with Jeb Bush’s spokesperson outright denying any direct involvement between Jeb Bush and Christopher Steele.
“It is absolutely not true that Governor Bush had any knowledge or involvement with this gentleman and his allegations. It’s nothing we’ve ever seen before.”
After the Republican convention during the 2016 presidential election, Reuters reports that Steele was kept on salary by Fusion GPS, and his information “was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media.”
Even so, the Steele dossier remains largely unconfirmed officially. Some of its data has been verified by the Democratic Coalition, an agency that has been dedicated to investigating the Trump-Russia scandal. Scott Dworkin, one of the agency’s founders, has analyzed the Steele dossier and says that “most of it is accurate.”
He’s written a report titled “Trump Dossier Analysis: Corroborating Evidence in the Trump Dossier.”
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) October 25, 2017
Scott Dworkin recently appeared on Fernand Amandi’s Strange Days podcast with journalist Grant Stern to discuss their perspectives of the Trump-Russia investigation. They did not hold back.
Fernand Amandi is a political professional who has launched a weekly podcast called Strange Days. In his newest weekly podcast, he talks to the best political voices and experts across the country, from everyday voters, journalists, and campaign aficionados to members of Congress on the “strange days” of the Trump presidency. In his latest podcast, he spoke with Grant Stern and Scott Dworkin, who have worked together on many big Trump-Russia stories since before the Trump presidency even began.
They clued into the Trump-Russia connection shortly after Scott Dworkin found a video of Trump explaining his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin where Donald Trump said the following, noted at the 47-minute mark of this week’s podcast.
“I do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today. He’s probably very interested in what you and I are saying here today. But I do have a relationship with him. And I think it’s very interesting to see what’s happened.”
The Democratic Coalition also found old videos of Donald Trump Jr. talking about his Russia connections.
“Been there many times, spent quite a bit of time in Moscow looking at deals….That interest is starting to pick back up.”
When asked where he thought Robert Mueller’s Trump Russia investigation was going, Scott Dworkin said the following.
“It’s months ahead of what the public knows, and it’s definitely, the promise to indict Manafort is almost guaranteed. I don’t think there’s any exoneration here because there’s too many crimes that they’ve committed. I’ve seen the nervousness on the Hill. They are telling me that they’re just waiting for the first indictment.”
Journalist and writer at the Stern Facts, Grant Stern, concurred.
“They [Robert Mueller’s team] are handling this as a massive massive RICO act investigation. And it’s covering many many different topics. Federal campaign laws violated systematically. This is an organized crime investigation, with an Iran Contra and a Watergate added on top.”
Scott Dworkin also said that he does not believe that Mueller feeds information to Congress and that, in fact, Mueller is investigating some members of Congress. The two Congress members he named were Representative Devin Nunes and Representative Dana Rohrabacher, both Republicans of California.
Rep. Devin Nunes is the Congress member who had to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation happening in Congress. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher reportedly has Russian connections that go back far before the 2016 presidential election cycle.
In 2013, the OC Weekly ran a story calling Rep. Rohrabacher “Moscow’s mule.” On August 8 of that year, Dana Rohrabacher had spoken at a conference attended by the Costa Mesa Tea Pearty, during which “tears formed” in his eyes and his lips quivered when he talked about Russia.
Where the Robert Mueller investigation is headed remains to be seen, but many Democrats are banking on indictments leading to a Trump impeachment. Vanity Fair notes it will likely be Paul Manafort who will be the first to see charges, due to the nature of his multiple money laundering probes.
Robert Mueller is also working closely with the New York State Attorney’s Office and New York State Attorney Eric Schneiderman. A stateside collaboration is noteworthy, as Donald Trump as president would be unable to grant presidential pardons on state charges or crimes.
Also noteworthy, Donald Trump has reportedly taken “an unusual level of interest” in who is making a bid for New York State Attorney in the Manhattan and Brooklyn districts where New York charges would be levied.
Vanity Fair notes that Trump has personally interviewed Geoffrey Berman, a partner at the law firm where Rudy Giuliani works. Trump has also reportedly also interviewed Ed McNally, a partner at the firm of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz.
Vanity Fair notes that Trump’s Brooklyn pick would oversee a current investigation into the company of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner of Kushner Companies. Trump’s pick for Manhattan would oversee the current and ongoing Paul Manafort money laundering probes.
In the meantime, subpoenas have been issued on Paul Manafort and his associates, and his home has also been raided. While it is unclear if Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation will end in a Trump impeachment, one thing that is clear is that his investigation is wide-reaching.
It is an investigation backed by former presidents, extends into Congress, and reportedly even involves business of family members of Donald Trump. It will not end well.
[Feature Image by Bebeto Matthews/AP Images]