We don’t yet know what Mr. Mueller knows, but we know that he knows a lot.
This succinct summation is from the Reliable Sources email thingie last night:
“The puzzle pieces fit together,” CNN legal analyst Elie Honig writes in this brand new column for CNN.com. He says “Trump needed Russia for his business dealings. Russia wanted Trump to win because they could influence or control him. And the Trump team wanted Russian help simply because they thought the Russians could help Trump win the election. Everyone profits, everyone gets what they want.”
Axios morning email thingie:
The flashing siren in the “known knowns” of the Russia probe is how often people close to Vladimir Putin approached people close to Donald J. Trump — and how often they gladly connected.
And then lied about it.
Two court filings last evening on Michael Cohen — one by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, followed an hour later by special counsel Robert Mueller — put new meat on those bones, show that the contacts go back to 2015, and allude to multiple ongoing investigations.
Why it matters: All that broadens the legal risk for Mueller’s “Individual 1,” the president of the United States.
The much-esteemed Lawfare blog outlined seven possible scenarios about Comrade Stupid and Russia last year, arranged from most innocent to most guilty:
- It’s All a Giant Set of Coincidences and Disconnected Events
- Trump Attracted Russophiles
- The Russian Operation Wasn’t Really About Trump at All
- Russian Intelligence Actively Penetrated the Trump Campaign—But Trump Didn’t Know
- Russian Intelligence Actively Penetrated the Trump Campaign—And Trump Knew or Should Have Known
- The President of the United States is a Russian Agent
We’re easily into #5, and can easily imagine #6 (the $50M Amero Penthouse offer in Trump Tower Moscow is breaking The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 and Putin knows it and could use it against Prznint Comrade).
Whatever the kompromat is, I’m sure it is around money and not sexxxytime shenanigans: you cannot shame the shameless, but you can call in the loans.