Special Counsel Robert Mueller shook the Trump administration to the core this week. When Mueller indicted and charged Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, the shockwaves were felt around the world. Think about it for a moment, President Trump’s campaign manager was charged with conspiracy against the United States of America. As reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week, it was Manafort who met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, with the express intention of obtaining information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
That meeting, set up by George Papadopoulos, who entered a guilty plea on charges relating to the Mueller investigation, also included President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. General Mike Flynn was sacked by Trump after meeting with an unregistered foreign [Russian] agent. These facts, combine to prove that members of the Trump campaign met with the Russians, allegedly to dig for dirt on Hillary Clinton. During Trump’s campaign, those closest to him were his campaign manager and his son-in-law. It is hard to believe that President Trump was unaware of what his campaign manager and closest advisor were up to.
The Guardian points out that the Mueller investigation is dealing with the Trump – Russia probe “as if taking on an organized crime family.” Any fan of The Sopranos, or who has any knowledge of law enforcement procedures, will recognize Mueller’s approach. When dealing with crime families there are some “golden rules” that investigators follow as they strive for the evidence to take down the “Godfather.”
Mueller’s charges against Manafort and Gates show that Mueller is embroiled in one of the most important rules when you investigate a crime family. The Mueller investigation is “following the money.” Most of the charges against Manafort and Gates relate to allegedly illegal financial deals in the Ukraine and in Russia. Tax evasion also forms part of the charges. Remember, if you will, that tax evasion has taken down numerous crime bosses, including, famously, Chicago gangster Al Capone.
By taking down George Papadopoulos first, the Mueller investigation is plowing another fertile furrow in organized crime investigations. Papadopoulos seems to have been the chain’s weakest link, and the Mueller investigation has exploited that. It seems that Papadopoulos has been cooperating with the investigation for months and that he may have cut a plea bargaining deal.
Will Jared Kushner And Michael Flynn Be Indicted?
If you want to break a crime family you start with the weakest link. Papadopoulos was the crime family equivalent of a foot soldier and if assumptions that he cut a deal with the Mueller investigation are correct, his information has implicated those higher up the food chain. Manafort and Kushner were members of Trump’s inner circle, and that suggests that the Mueller investigation is getting close to Trump himself.
Therein lies the secret to bringing down a crime family boss, take down those closest to him, make him nervous, make him question the loyalty of those around him. As reported by CNN earlier this week, President Trump has reportedly turned on Jared Kushner, who is reported to have handed over documents to the Mueller investigation. One thread of Mueller’s complex investigation is around the sacking of former FBI chief James Comey, Kushner allegedly played a key role in that decision.
Comey alleges that Trump asked him to drop the investigation into Mike Flynn’s Russian contacts. Mueller is believed to be investigating whether that decision amounted to obstruction of justice. Over the past few days, there has been a host of speculation as to who will be next to be indicted by the Mueller investigation. Mike Flynn and Jared Kushner seem to be favorites.
With the Mueller investigation seemingly reaching into the heart of the Trump family, another trend seems to be emerging. As reported by USA Today, some Republicans are trying to get the Mueller investigation closed down. As reported by the Inquisitr on Friday, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz from Florida has introduced a resolution calling Mueller “compromised” and telling him to step down from the Russia inquiry.
Donald Trump has used Twitter to attack the Russian inquiry and protest his innocence, and it now seems that lawyers for members of his former team are “demanding that evidence is suppressed.” As reported by the Independent, Paul Manafort’s lawyers are claiming the evidence against Manafort was obtained “improperly.”
It is interesting to note that the response to the Mueller investigation shows three tactics used by defense teams in complex investigations or where the evidence of guilt is overwhelming. Put simply, if the evidence is strong, question procedure and try to get it thrown out. If you can cast doubt on the integrity of an investigator, the investigation itself becomes tainted and a seed of doubt is planted in a jury’s mind.
If the Mueller investigation is dealing with the Russia inquiry like it would an organized crime family, it would seem that lawyers for members of Trump’s team are following a script of there own.
Of course, it is important to note that, with the exception of George Papadopoulos, there have been no convictions as a result of the Mueller investigation. It seems certain that Mueller will leave no stone unturned, and that his investigation is reaching to the very heart of President Donald Trump’s inner circle.
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]