With the first formal charges from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s focused investigation into the morass of illegal and unethical actions of Donald Trump’s sordid presidency now out in the open, the next question is “who’s next?”
The question is not if any other indictments are coming but “how many” and “will Trump be charge?”
Yes, more charges are coming. As for Trump, the general feeling of those who have some knowledge of what is going on inside Mueller’s probe is that the President will be at least implicated in illegal activities that also showcase widespread conflict of interest, questionable financial transactions and outright ethical violations.
Mueller’s investigators now have access to Trump’s usually hidden financial records and they show the “swamp” that he promised “to drain” came to down with him and could drown he and his family and associates.
“Our president is dirty,” says one high-ranking Republican. “When the dirt starts flying, it will smear many of us.”
Mueller’s investigators, we are told, had identified misuse of Trump’s name, position and power on deals that directly benefit him and his family. First daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner have negotiated lucrative deals with foreign interests that not only violate the emoluments clause of the Constitution but also a number of federal conflicts of interest laws.
Trump’s long-concealed tax returns, investigation insiders say, is a “detailed roadmap of illegal actions.”
Trump openly violates conflict of interest rules and ethical requirements of the presidency by maintaining control of his lavish “Trump International Hotel” on Pennsylvania Avenue, which started turning record profits from bookings by foreign governments and extravagant rates charged to both visiting governments and the American governmental system.
The bottom line if what Trump does is always: “How does this benefit me?” The man who declared his ability to “make deals” will most likely pay for the deals which violated the law or were based on lies.
Those who have seen the tax returns that Trump worked so hard to conceal say they show a financial manipulator and money launderer at work with ties to questionable partners and associates, including longtime American enemy Russia.
That’s way the guilty pleas by former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos worry the White House most.
“I think it’s a fair conclusion to think that he has information that is valuable in the prosecution of others,” University of Michigan law professor Barbara McQuade tells Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman. “You would only offer that cooperation if you’ve sat down with him and learned that he has information that is of value.”
Trump is already on the defensive against Papadopoulos, calling him “a liar” and dismissing him as a campaign “nobody.”
The “nobody” worked with Russians that he said would provide “dirt” on opponent Hillary Clinton. Mueller’s investigators have thousands of emails that show just how involved the “nobody” was in Trump’s campaign of dirty tricks.
Investigators, borrowing from the action plans of those who brought down Richard Nixon in the Watergate debacle, are “following the money, ” which often brings down the powerful and drives Trump.
“When you follow the money on a case involving Trump, the trail always leads to him,” says one former justice department investigator close to the case. “Greed, we often find, drives such men and when ego is also involved, the mistakes can bring them down.”
In this investigation, all roads lead to a toxic swamp named Donald John Trump.
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