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Trump vs. Mueller investigation?

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The Plum Line • Opinion
A ‘perjury trap’ isn’t the real reason Trump won’t answer Mueller’s questions
We already know Mueller won't indict a sitting president. Here's what Trump is really afraid of.
By Paul Waldman  •  Read more »


One highlight ...

That is where we come back to what Trump is really afraid will happen if he answers Mueller’s questions. His lawyers have certainly seen what has happened when Trump has been deposed before, and the results weren’t pretty. In one case, he was forced 30 separate times to admit lies he had told. In another deposition, regarding the fraud lawsuit over Trump University, Trump claimed to be unable to remember so many specific things that the opposing lawyer eventually asked him whether he remembered saying he has one of the world’s best memories. Trump said he couldn’t remember saying that. (In fact, he had.)

Though Trump might well commit perjury if forced to answer Mueller’s questions, he won’t face prosecution for it. But everyone would see him desperately distract, deflect and dissemble in answer to questions about Russia and obstruction of justice. And it isn’t just the content of specific lies he might tell. Facing an informed interrogator able to ask follow-up questions, he would also almost certainly wind up looking evasive, self-contradictory, disingenuous — in a word, guilty.

That’s the real danger that Trump faces: not legal danger, but political danger. An interview with Mueller might not make impeachment and removal from office more likely (he has a firewall of Republican support in Congress to prevent that), but it will almost certainly make a defeat in 2020 more likely.

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Don McGahn to leave job as White House counsel, Trump says


".... That strained relationship once again resurfaced earlier this month with the disclosure that McGahn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, participating in several interviews spanning 30 hours over the last nine months. The conversations unnerved Trump, who didn't know the full extent of McGahn's discussions, ....."


Maggie HabermanVerified account @maggieNYT 2h2 hours ago


McGahn believes Kushner and Ivanka helped push out news about him to force his hand, ppl close to him say.

Ivanka Trump complained bitterly to her father about Times story on McGahn intvu w Mueller a few weeks back, per people briefed

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Kenneth P. VogelVerified account @kenvogel 18h18 hours ago


PROOF OF FOREIGN $$$ GOING TO TRUMP INAUGURAL: We had heard that MUELLER was inquiring about foreign $ going to TRUMP's inaugural committee.

But SAM PATTEN's guilty plea proves that it actually happened -- & it was pro-Russian $, at that


SAM PATTEN CHARGES ARE IMPORTANT: They relate to his work with longtime MANAFORT deputy KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK ("foreigner A" in charging doc) on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian party for which Manafort also worked.

Shows that MUELLER's work is bearing fruit beyond core of probe.

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Papadopoulos: Trump ‘Nodded With Approval’ At Suggestion Of Putin Meeting

Papadopoulos is a pivotal figure in Mueller’s investigation as the first Trump campaign aide to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors.



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Seth AbramsonVerified account @SethAbramson 58m58 minutes ago


I'll say it as simply as possible:

the Patten news is *big*

—the Papadopoulos news is *huge*.

Papadopoulos being willing to say in a sentencing memo that Trump and Sessions approved a Russian backchannel means he knows Mueller believes him

—and the three other witnesses who concur.

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Presidential obstruction of justice:

The case of Donald J. Trump

-2nd edition


"..... Ten months later, as we release the updated second edition of the report, it has become apparent that the president’s pattern of potentially obstructive conduct is much more extensive than we knew. To take only a few examples, ...............

We also now have a better understanding of the conduct possibly implicating the president or those associated with him that he may have been trying to cover up. ...

the facts that have been reported since that time have made the case that President Trump obstructed justice significantly stronger.

This is further evidenced by the weaknesses of the factual and legal defenses that have been advanced by the president and his team of lawyers ..... the fact that a president may have exercised his constitutional authority, such as to remove subordinate officers, is no defense if those otherwise lawful actions were done with a corrupt intent to obstruct a criminal or congressional proceeding. The notion that a public official cannot be charged with obstructing justice for actions that are within his or her public authority finds no support in the annals of American law. ........

In what is perhaps a reflection of the strength of the evidence that can now be marshaled against the president, his defenders have shifted the fight in large measure away from the merits of the obstruction case to a series of questionable defenses based upon the possible consequences of even a meritorious case.

In many ways, the question has become less about whether there is a case that Donald J. Trump obstructed justice, and more about whether and in what form the rule of law will be followed. "



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George Popadopoulos' lawyers characterized him as a naive wanna-be who lied to the FBI as he was eager to please and impress his master, Donald Trump.

George P. was also the naive over excited soul that could not contain himself and boasted of Putin wanting to help Trump win the election and that the Russians had hacked emails that would discredit Hillary Clinton.  He boasted about this to a practical stranger, an Australian diplomat.

Are we to believe that George P. was so excited that he divulged all of this to an Australian diplomat but then kept ALL of this secret from everyone on the Trump campaign?  The people he was so eager to impress?  Sorry, but this really smells.  

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"Only a complete fantasist — that is, only President Trump and his cult — could continue to claim that this investigation of foreign subversion of an American election, which has already yielded dozens of other indictments and several guilty pleas, is a 'hoax' or 'scam' or 'rigged witch hunt'.”





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5 hours ago, jakeem said:

Last month Michael Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis told @maddow his client was happy to tell the special counsel "all that he knows."

In a new report by Vanity Fair, Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, has been in contact with Mueller's team.




4 hours ago, jakeem said:

Dershowitz: Manafort's decision to cooperate with prosecutors is a "big win" for Mueller http://hill.cm/9scRkzz 



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10 hours ago, jakeem said:

According to sources close to Manafort defense: “The cooperation agree does not involve the Trump campaign....There was no collusion with Russia.” Another road travelled by Mueller. Same conclusion: no evidence of collusion President did nothing wrong.


10 hours ago, jakeem said:

John Aravosis ??Retweeted Rudy Giuliani

And note that Giuliani is no longer defending the Trump campaign, or even @DonaldJTrumpJr. Now the party line is that Trump himself didn’t collude. Not that Junior didn’t. Not that Kushner didn’t.

Entire family already thrown under the bus.


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And why is Trump* so worried if he has done nothing wrong?  


‘Robert Mueller’s real quest here is for the truth’: How Paul Manafort’s plea brings the special counsel probe closer to its endgame
The special counsel has methodically flipped former Trump advisers, though Manafort had long eluded him.
By Matt Zapotosky, Carol Leonnig, Ashley Parker  • Read more »
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Ed HenryVerified account @edhenry


Breaking: The President has just ordered the declassification of a range of documents, including FISA application related to Carter Page, FBI interviews with Bruce Ohr,

plus texts related to Russia probe "without redaction" of Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page & Ohr

2:29 PM - 17 Sep 2018
Ted LieuVerified account @tedlieu Sep 17

I look forward to the American people seeing the multiple streams of information that showed probable cause to surveil Carter Page.

I am also pleased the people will learn more about Bruce Ohr's testimony that the Russians had @realDonaldTrump "over a barrel."

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