Trump’s Perils: Perjury, Pardons, Prosecutions

By Susan Kuebler

Following all the revelations from yesterday’s #ManafortMonday, it is clear to most people that Trump’s presidency is in peril.  Robert Mueller landed a one-two body blow to all the lies and obfuscations from both the president and his supporters.  First came the 31-page indictment against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his sidekick Rick Gates.  The charges cover an extensive period of time which included the time that Manafort and Gates both worked for Trump.

But right after Trump tweeted out

came the announcement that a member of Trump’s foreign advisory council George Papadopoulos admitted he lied to the F.B.I. regarding the contacts he made, on behalf of the Trump campaign, with Russian operatives in an attempt to gain intel on Hillary Clinton.  In other words “collusion.” As Martha Stewart could tell you, you do not lie to the F.B.I. after she ended up spending five months in a federal prison for doing exactly that.

Papadopoulos then played “Let’s Make A Deal” and admitted he had committed perjury.  In return for his cooperation with the investigation, which may have included wearing a wire while talking with members of the White House and former campaign staffers, he will most likely receive a reduced sentence.

Then came the mind-boggling interview that former Trump campaign adviser Carter YPage gave on CNN last night, where he admitted that the emails sent by Papadopoulos “may have come up” during the campaign.

Earlier today Donald Trump was asked if he were considering issuing a pardon for Paul Manafort.  Despite the repeated denials by his lawyers that Trump was not considering pardons for anyone under indictment, Trump abruptly stopped answering questions rather than put the entire matter to rest with a simple “no.”  Naturally, this only raised speculation that Trump could conceivably pardon Manafort and anyone else indicted in the Mueller investigation.

This raises the question – will Congress allow him to get away with this?  On Monday Democrat Senator Mark Warner from Virginia, who also happens to be the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, urged his fellow lawmakers to “make it clear” to Donald Trump that any pardoning of by Trump of either himself or his associates would be “unacceptable” according to the Washington Examiner.   In addition, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham from South Carolina, appearing on Fox News, said that there would be “holy hell to pay” if Trump fires Robert Mueller.

Oh, and there are reports that New York State Attorney General Schneiderman is also investigating Trump associates on possible RICO charges.  Trump can’t pardon state convictions.

While Trump came back to life on Twitter this morning, one his major talking points has been completely destroyed by Robert Mueller.  While trying to explain away the role that George Papadopoulos played he told Mueller to “Check the DEMS!”

Well, sorry Donnie, but Mueller is already all over that, as evidenced by the sudden resignation of Tony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, yesterday when it became clear he was also directly in the sights of the Mueller investigation.

Also the logic of Donald Trump simply eats itself.  If George Papadopoulos is a liar, it is because he lied when he said there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  Or does Trump actually believe that Papadopoulos lied when he said he was lying about the collusion.  My head is beginning to swim trying to follow this line of thinking.

Mueller has already sent out a strong message that perjury will not be tolerated, warning any potential witnesses that they would be well advised to tell the truth.  And Lindsay Graham said there would be “holy hell to pay” if Trump pardons anyone.  So that just leaves the inevitable prosecutions.

Faced with potential federal and state prosecutions, it remains to be seen how many people will sacrifice themselves to protect Trump.  Maybe Ivanka.  Maybe.  But if Trump did nothing wrong, then he has nothing to worry about.  So why all the Twitter angst spewing for from Trump every single blessed day of the week?

"All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well". Julian of Norwich.

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