(Opinion) Mueller Report Will Be Damning But There’s Much Worse to Come for Trump
Everyone waiting for justice to finally reach the president have seemingly had their eyes set on the release of the Mueller report.
After all, Mueller has indicted multiple individuals many in Trump’s orbit, and there is clear evidence already in the public domain that the president’s closest advisors and family members (i.e. Donald Trump Jr.) have had incredibly shady, and very possibly illegal contacts with those close to the Kremlin.
There is little doubt that the Trump campaign conspired with agents of Russia in some way, but what we don’t know is whether or not those conspiring committed a crime worth prosecuting, or if they were directed by Donald J. Trump. Mueller’s report will enlighten the nation in this regard, and if there is evidence of a criminal conspiracy, likely provide Congress with a roadmap to impeachment.
With that said, although I expect additional indictments, and Mueller to submit his report to Attorney General Barr possibly within weeks, if not days, it’s what Mueller doesn’t pursue which could have some of the biggest impacts on the president, his assets, his family and his businesses.
The Southern District of New York is a federal court district that Mueller has passed cases off to, and here is where Trump should be the most concerned. The SDNY appears to be investigating possible campaign finance laws that Mr. Trump broke, and is also looking into other possible financial crimes by the president, his family and the Trump Organization. The SDNY appears to have breached that ‘red line’ that Trump set a year and a half ago, which included anything related to his businesses and personal finances. Whereas Mueller will likely stick to the DOJ guidelines suggesting a president can not be indicted, the SDNY could very well ignore those guidelines, putting Mr. Trump in immediate danger.
New York State:
Whereas pardons can theoretically be issued for any federal crimes, state crimes can not be pardoned by a president. This not only means that the next president can’t pardon Trump should New York file state charges, but the President’s family could be in the most danger in this jurisdiction well. Whereas a Donald Trump Jr. indictment could be worthless in the SDNY or at the hands of Mueller, if New York State indicts any of the president’s children, there is nothing the president can do about it. New York State would be the jurisdiction to bring charges against those running the Trump Foundation, should they see enough evidence to warrant such. Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump have all had integral roles at the Foundation.
New York State also acts as a fail-safe should Trump begin pardoning other close advisors like Paul Manafort, as they appear to have clear path to charges against Manafort if they wish to file them.
While Mueller appears to be wrapping up his probe, the Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Oversight Committee seem to be conducting their own Russia investigation, which mimics Mueller’s. At the same times they have expanded their scope to the president’s finances and business dealings. They have already requested documents from 81 individuals in Trump’s orbit, and will likely act as a backup to Mueller’s investigation, should AG William Barr withhold information from the public regarding Mueller’s findings.
These Congressional investigations will also prepare Congress for what appears to be a very likely impeachment hearing in the future, should solid evidence of criminal activity be found.
Yes, the Mueller probe is coming to an end, and yes, it could be immensely damaging to Mr. Trump, but Americans also need to focus on more than just the Mueller probe. The President and his family are in for years of legal chaos, and the Mueller probe is only the tip of that iceberg.