The U.S. mainstream press is obviously becoming increasingly anxious about Special Counsel (and former FBI Director) Robert Mueller’s efforts to bring an early end to Donald Trump’s presidency. After all, it has now been 15 months (and millions of taxpayer dollars) since Mueller received his special appointment, and he still has not charged Trump with any wrongdoing whatsoever.
What Mueller has done is secure indictments against a few Russians who, according to Wikipedia, supposedly attempted “to trick Americans into consuming Russian propaganda that targeted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and later President-elect Donald Trump.”
Big deal. I can’t help wonder which Americans ended up being tricked by that dangerous, mind-altering Russian propaganda. Maybe they ought to sue their public schools for educational malpractice.
Currently, Mueller is spending his time and U.S. taxpayer money going after former Trump campaign official Paul Manafort. The charges? Income-tax violations and bank fraud.
But isn’t it the job of the Justice Department to go after people who are accused of those types of crimes? Why is Mueller’s special team prosecuting Manafort? Could it be because Mueller is hoping to secure a conviction against Manafort that will enable him to squeeze Manafort into providing some incriminating evidence against Trump, even if involves matters that don’t relate to the anti-Russia brouhaha, such as tax or regulatory violations? Could it be that Mueller is hoping to turn Manafort into another Rick Gates, the man who Mueller has given special treatment for agreeing to rat out Manafort?
Meanwhile, increasingly desperate over the passage of 15 months and still no charges by Mueller against Trump, the mainstream press is doing its best to pressure and manipulate Trump into agreeing to be interviewed by Mueller. The New York Times, for example, titles its August 13 editorial with “There’s No Need to Fear Mueller, Mr. President — if You Have Nothing to Hide.”
Oh, but there is something to fear! It’s called a “perjury trap.” It’s a favorite tactic of federal prosecutors, especially ones who want to punish people but have insufficient evidence to convict them of what they want to convict them of.
Recall, for example, Martha Stewart. Federal officials told her that they just wanted to interview her about supposed “insider trading,” one of the ludicrous economic crimes on the federal books. Stupidly, she agreed to the interview. It turned out to be a perjury trap. They never charged her with “insider trading” but they did charge her for supposedly lying to federal investigators. She got convicted of lying, not insider trading, and they sent her away to federal jail.
That’s why Mueller wants to interview Trump. He’s hoping that Trump slips up and tells a lie, which will then enable him to go after Trump for the lie rather than supposedly “colluding” with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Let’s get one thing clear: Trump has no obligation whatsoever to help Mueller with his investigation. If Mueller can’t get enough evidence to charge Trump with unlawfully “colluding” with Russia, that’s his problem. He can’t expect Trump to sit down and assist him with his investigation of Trump.
Would Mueller hesitate to get Trump on some other charge, like possible income-tax evasion, building-code violations, foreign construction-related bribery, or making some false statement to Mueller during an interview? Well, duh! After 15 months of failing to come up with charges against Trump for “colluding” with Russia, do you think he wants to issue a final report that lets Trump off the hook but trumpets his big “successes” in going after people for income-tax violations, bank fraud, or failing to comply with some 1938 FDR-era law requiring foreigners to register as foreign agents? After 15 months and millions of dollars, Mueller will take anything he can get that will enable him to charge Trump with something.
Trump would be stupid to talk to Mueller. All that he would be doing would be the same thing that Martha Stewart did — giving federal prosecutors the opportunity to go after him on some slip-up during the interview. Trump should continue telling Mueller to put up or shut up and to stop pleading with Trump to assist him with his ridiculous anti-Russia investigation against Trump.