Friday, July 21, 2017

It's the Money, Honey - Part 2

[T]he larger story, especially from the Post, is that the President refuses to allow the law to apply to himself or his family.


Marc Corallo, a respected, albeit partisan Republican lawyer, had served as the spokesman for Trump’s legal defense team. He has had a professional relationship with Mueller and had made clear he would not be party to attacks on Mueller’s character or integrity. He has now resigned, apparently as a result of the new attacks on Mueller.

Relatedly, the President and his legal team are attempting to prescribe a narrow ambit for Mueller’s probe. Basically anything outside the four walls of the 2016 election is off limits, according to Trump, including his family’s business operations, perhaps even during the 2016 election. This isn’t remotely how these kinds of investigations work. In this specific case, Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller a broad mandate to go where the facts lead him. This is not an argument that would convince any lawyer or judge. It is a political argument which lays the groundwork for Mueller’s dismissal.


From a different perspective, we are beginning to see what everyone who’s studied Trump’s business history knows: to paraphrase the Army maxim, Trump’s business would not survive first contact with real legal scrutiny. So he made clear in yesterday’s Times interview that any review of his or his family’s business history would be unacceptable.

I'm not sure who he thinks he's talking to - unless it's the new FBI guy, Chris Wray, as a warning. Because I'm sure the Mueller team already has a very large "review" of the Trump Family Cabal, since they have incorporated the New York investigations into money laundering into their investigation.
He has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns.
It is quite remarkable that in a wide-ranging investigation into his campaign and himself Trump could have any expectation that his tax returns would remain off limits to Mueller. These are after all government documents. [...] It’s an amazing admission. [...] [H]e’s really worried about having anyone look at those tax returns, isn’t he!??!?
As speculated elsewhere, that COULD simply be because his own idea of his great self-worth is what drives him - and if those returns show he's busted, that would be catastrophic to his image.
As I’ve written before, President Trump has been in crooked business for decades: money laundering, mob partnerships, various straight-up swindles. Statutes of limitations will have run out on most of those infractions but not all of them. This has always been obvious to me and everyone else who’s looked closely at Trump’s record. What recent weeks has made clear to me is that there’s almost certainly lots of dirty laundry tied to money deals and connivances with the Russia government.


We are far, far past the point where there is any credible reason to doubt that President Trump is hiding major and broad-ranging wrongdoing. No mix of ego, inexperience, embarrassment or anything else can explain his behavior. It just can’t. He’s hiding bad acts. And the country is likely heading toward a major constitutional and political crisis because Trump is signaling that he will not allow the normal course of the law to apply to him – a challenge which puts the entire edifice of democratic government under threat.
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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