As Mueller Closes In, Trump Retweets Meme Of Mueller, Obama, Clinton, Rosenstein In Jail

President Trump is resorting to authoritarian tactics while Robert Mueller puts Paul Manafort in a bind and more evidence of collusion mounts.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and President Donald Trump (AP)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and President Donald Trump (AP)

The Lede: With every unhinged tweet by President Trump, there is likely a move from Special Counsel Robert Mueller not far behind. And that appears to be the case this week.

On Wednesday morning, President Trump retweeted a meme that displayed several people he has deemed to be his political opponents, and his current Deputy Attorney General, behind bars for “treason.” (Important to note none of these people have been charged with any crimes.)

From left: Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former White House Chief of Staff and Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Clinton Aide Huma Abedin, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former President Bill Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (Trump's Twitter Timeline)

From left: Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former White House Chief of Staff and Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Clinton Aide Huma Abedin, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former President Bill Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (Trump’s Twitter Timeline)

The Context: This comes after multiple reports last week revealed that President Trump tried to order the Justice Department to prosecute James Comey and Hillary Clinton, a move legal analysts have deemed a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to jail political opponents. President Trump has long publicly mused about his eagerness to jail political opponents, an effort more akin to a despot than a president. In recent weeks, Trump has escalated his personal attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, both verbally and through obstructive moves. Trump fired Jeff Sessions and appointed Matthew Whitaker to be acting Attorney General, a sycophant who has criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and wrote an op-ed claiming he would prosecute Hillary Clinton.

Analysis: Why is Trump increasing his efforts to obstruct and cast doubt on Mueller’s investigation? All signs point to the conclusion that President Trump is terrified of its incoming outcome. For starters, Mueller called out Trump’s former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort for lying to investigators and breaching his plea deal. The New York Times reported that Manafort has been feeding Trump information and filling in Trump’s lawyers on what he’s told the Special Counsel. Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed this report.

There are four main reasons this should worry Trump:

1. If Trump’s written responses to Mueller’s questions were coordinated with the lies that Manafort told Mueller, that could pose some additional legal troubles for the President.

2. Mueller can use a court filing outlining why Manafort lied as a method through which to circumvent Whitaker and issue a de facto public report outlining a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

3. If Trump offered a pardon to Manafort in exchange for lying, legal experts have said that would qualify as blatant witness tampering and build on Mueller’s overall obstruction of justice case. The pardon would be an impeachable offense.

4. Legal experts told Ken Dilanian of MSNBC that Manafort’s conversations with Trump’s lawyers are not covered under executive privilege, and “Mueller could haul them all before the grand jury and make them testify under oath about them.”

Meanwhile, more reports outlining evidence of a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election continue to be released. The Guardian reported that Paul Manafort met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (who has reportedly been indicted under seal by the DOJ) at least three times at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, including in March of 2016 ahead of Wikileaks’ dump of Hillary Clinton’s emails which were stolen by the Russian government. This was also right after he began to work for Trump’s campaign, unpaid. Mueller also reportedly has emails from Jerome Corsi, conspiracy theorist and Roger Stone associate, that prove he emailed Stone about incoming releases of Clinton emails from Wikileaks. The report signaled Corsi may have had direct contact from Wikileaks about the incoming leak.

This is important because of this key point.

It appears the 2016 Trump Tower meeting and President Trump’s repeated public promotion of Clinton’s hacked emails may be just the tip of the collusion iceberg. The question of “did Donald Trump have foreknowledge of Russia’s hack of Clinton’s emails and the plan to release them through Wikileaks?” may soon be answered. And judging by Trump’s behavior, he may not want the public to know the answer.

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News // Donald Trump / Robert Mueller / Russia Investigation