Friday, August 04, 2017

Mueller’s Use of Grand Jury Confirms What We Already Knew

Two demagogues, two liars, two mentally unstable men

Tonight Trump was in West Virginia ranting that the entire Russian investigation is a lie and utter fabrication and whined about the FBI's failure to prosecute Hillary Clinton and numerous insane claims.  Indeed, in his remarks, Trump seem to advocate for a dismantling of the rule of law. Meanwhile, word is out today that special prosecutor Robert Mueller has impaneled a second grand jury, in the District of Columbia, to further probe potential witnesses and  to subpoena documents from individuals and institution that would otherwise refuse to produce documents and information.  Having worked with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office on more than one occasion, few things are more intimidating than receiving a subpoena from those offices.  Short of an attorney client privilege situation, you will turn over requested documents.  Just as important, witness will be forced to choose between protecting themselves and avoiding perjury charges or lying for Trump and his sycophants.   Of course, as a column in the Washington Post points out, none of this should come as a surprise.  I have always believed that Trump was dirty - not to mention a pathological liar - and Mueller's investigation is going to find something damning. Here are column excerpts:
Breathless tweets and breaking-news banners notwithstanding, reports that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has empaneled a grand jury in the ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign and potential Russian collusion are entirely unsurprising. This development isn’t a nothing-burger, but it doesn’t suggest anything we didn’t already know.
The grand jury has the subpoena power that prosecutors need to compel reluctant witnesses to testify under oath. Grand jury subpoenas are also how prosecutors gather documents such as bank records, emails and corporate papers from entities or people who might not produce them voluntarily.
If a preliminary inquiry suggests there is nothing to a case, prosecutors might never empanel a grand jury. They and the FBI might conduct voluntary interviews, examine readily available documents and determine that no more formal inquiry is warranted.
It’s been clear for months that the allegations are sufficiently serious to merit a full investigation. And in the world of federal prosecutors, that means using a grand jury. . . . In fact, prosecutors in this probe have been using a grand jury for some time. Grand jury proceedings take place in secret, so there is often not a lot of news about what is happening in the room.
The reality is that any investigation serious enough to warrant the appointment of a special counsel was always likely to involve a grand jury. It was always going to drag on for months. In a case this complex, it takes a long time to investigate the various allegations, subpoena and review relevant documents, and put relevant witnesses before the grand jury. If there are grants of immunity or plea deals to be negotiated, that takes time as well.
Mueller has already hired more than a dozen prosecutors to staff his investigation. Anyone who thought this was going to be over quickly was kidding themselves. The “news” confirms what we already knew.
In the past weeks, there have been a number of startling and significant developments in the Russia probe. News that the special counsel is using a grand jury is not one of them.

I sincerely hope that Mueller finds enough evidence of crimes on Trump's part to drive him from office either via resignation or impeachment.  As for Mike Pence, I continue to believe that he is not the unknowing "Sergeant Schultz" that he claims to be.  He needs to go down with Trump. 

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