Not too long ago the FBI raided the home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort in search of tax and bank records. The operation was apparently part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation of Russia’s alleged meddling in the presidential election. Fox News reports:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has cranked up the intensity and legal pressure on Manafort on a series of unrelated investigations into various aspects of his personal and professional life, the Post reported.
The raid is an indication that the investigators did not trust Manafort to turn over all the demanded documents voluntarily. He was forced to resign during the presidential campaign in 2016 due to questions concerning his former business in Ukraine. These ties to Russia and Ukraine are now fueling the Russia-Trump conspiracy theory.
Manafort has denied any wrongdoing. His spokesman Jason Maloni stated that “Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well.”
That the FBI acquired a search warrant from a grand jury gives us unique insight into the degree of antagonism and mistrust of Mueller’s investigation. The contrast to the probe of Hillary Clinton is stark. FBI didn’t raid Clinton’s bathroom, where she kept her illegal email server. Despite evidence of crimes, she was given a pass. Manafort and other members of the Trump campaign, on the other hand, have been subject to repeated scrutiny in spite of zero evidence of illegal acts.
Trump has repeatedly stated that the ongoing Russia investigation is a witch-hunt, and the raid on Manafort’s home strengthens that impression. The effort seems more politically motivated than justified suspicions of actual crimes.
The Russia conspiracy theory is taking a toll on the Trump presidency. Much energy is wasted on an investigation that many see as rather pointless and soaking up energy which could better be used for improving the country and healing the relations between the political sides.
So, the question remains: How can President Trump end the investigation and return America to a prosperous country again? Dilbert-creator and Trump advocate Scott Adams has put forth an interesting suggestion. According to Adams, Trump should announce that he will give the investigation a time limit, for instance until the end of the year, and if nothing of substance has turned up by then, he will fire Mueller, and terminate the investigation to stop the assault on Trump’s presidency.
Announcing his actions well in advance allows the American people to digest and adjust to the decision, so when it comes, it will be an expected non-event. Ending the investigation after giving it plenty of time also seems reasonable and decisive. It is good optics. Such a strategy would make Trump come out ahead while ending the probe. Then he and the congress could go back to focusing on completing the promises he made to the American people, such as facilitating job creation, repealing Obamacare and reforming the tax system.
It’s certainly one way to deal with the current mess in The Swamp. What do you think?