PRESIDENT Donald Trump has reportedly been all the more consumed by the Russia probe and his nonstop Twitter storm — discrediting Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the latter’s independent investigation on the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to win in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections — may be a clear indicator.
From “I have nothing to hide, I am innocent and I am willing to sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller”, the president dragged on with his cooperation with the Mueller probe and after almost a year of negotiations, he has refused to sit down for a face-to-face interview, fearing “perjury trap.” Instead, Trump has just submitted his written answers to questions of the Mueller team with a caveat “as far as I recall” to his answers.
His constant and unending blabber of “No Collusion,” exonerating himself from day one, has now progressed to the toxicity of denigrating Mueller, a registered Republican, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, another registered Republican Trump appointed himself who designated Mueller after the president fired FBI Director James Comey (also a registered Republican). Lately, Trump has even been obsessing about putting these men and his political opponents behind bars and retweeted an image of them in jail.
The president fired his ever loyal Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe out of “delicadeza” and picked Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, despite (and perhaps because of) Whitaker’s previous public and private statements that were hostile to the Russia probe.
Now, the Washington Post reports on President Trump’s Twitter rampage for a fourth straight morning on Thursday, November 29 to attack special counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, questioning whether it will “just go on forever” and calling it a waste of money.
“Did you ever see an investigation more in search of a crime?” Trump wrote in a tweet. He also asserted that the probe “has proven only one thing-there was NO collusion with Russia.”
NO, Mister President. The probe has NOT yet proven “no collusion.” In fact, Mueller’s 18-month-old investigation has led to charges against 32 people, which included 26 Russians. Four of your aides have pleaded guilty to various charges. Many of them have decided to cooperate with the Mueller probe.
One of those now working with the Special Counsel is no less than Trump’s former attorney and “longtime fixer” Michael Cohen.
As the Washington Post reported, “Cohen’s new guilty plea is the latest development in a wide-ranging investigation by Robert S. Mueller III into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump had insisted in the summer of 2016 that he had no business interests in Russia, statements that would be undermined if Cohen is now asserting conversations about the project continued past January 2016.”
Cohen said he lied because wanted to protect Trump and give him legal cover. Cohen used to say he would take a bullet for Trump, until the president threw him under the bus after the FBI raided Cohen’s Rockefeller Center office and Park Avenue hotel room, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including a payment to a pornographic film actress “Stormy Daniels.”
Cohen likewise intimated that he wanted to do the right thing this time to honor his father, Maurice Cohen, a Polish Holocaust survivor. The older Cohen reportedly urged his son not to protect Trump and said that he did not survive the Holocaust to have his name “sullied” by the president. Hence, Cohen made his first guilty plea to multiple fraud charges and campaign finance law violations. He also made decision to do the right thing for his children.
The Post further reported that activity in the Mueller probe has intensified this week, “as one planned guilty plea was derailed and, separately, prosecutors accused Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort of lying to them since he pleaded guilty.”
Now Trump is sending signals that he may pardon Manafort in a New York Post interview in which Trump said a pardon for former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was not “off the table.”
Incoming Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler told Newsweek that, should the president pardon Manafort, the committee was prepared to investigate.
As Newsweek reported, “Nadler, whose committee would have subpoena and investigative power come January, said even “dangling a pardon in front of Manafort, who is a witness in a serious investigation in which Trump is either a subject or a target, could be viewed as obstruction of justice.”
With these developments, let us all make sure the Mueller investigation continues where ever all the evidence and the facts take it. We should demand and expect nothing less to protect our democracy.
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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos