Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s dog and pony show trial against Paul Manafort begins. Could this be the moment that brings down President Donald Trump? For those that are both blind to facts and as gullible as new-born puppies, then it just may seem that way.
What is missing from this trial is Russians. Mueller has already announced that the trial will in no way be addressing Russian collusion, and, in fact, appears to have very little to do with President Trump at all. The July 6 court filing stated:
“The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government.”
Is it possible that there is another reason for Mueller to be involved in this case?
Mueller is aiming for two outcomes from this trial. The first being to apply so much pressure to Paul Manafort that, as Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III said:
“The vernacular is, to sing… to turn the screws and get the information you really want.”
Manafort has been placed in custody, locked in solitary confinement, and subjected to treatment that is more consistent with a Banana Republic than a land of law, order, and due process. The goal here is not to get Manafort to merely “sing,” but to compose.
The second goal is far more nefarious. Mueller is stringing out this trial, and the other trial on seperate charges that is due to start in a different jurisdiction in September, because it justifies to the public the Counsel’s continued involvement in the Trump investigation, and in fact, the investigation itself!
Without Manafort’s trial, what would Mueller have left to warrant his investigation?
Clinging on to Life
The complicit media is clinging to straws on the Russian collusion narrative. After Mueller indicted Russian companies as part of his investigation, the usual suspects saw a glimpse of hope that they could bring own the president. But this transparent ploy backfired.
The companies decided to face their accuser head on and hired an American law firm and demanded to start disclosure (as is their right). Surprise, surprise, Mueller and his team, two-years into their investigation, announced that they were in no way ready to proceed. Could this be another indication that Mueller is trying to hold onto his role in the hopes that damning evidence will eventually appear?
Relevant or Gone?
If Robert Mueller cannot stay in the public spotlight, the whole collusion idea collapses. Therefore, he needs to keep promoting the story that progress is being made.
Make no mistake, this trial will be drawn out for as long as possible and the following trial in September is a backup plan in case this one is speedily concluded. The indictments against Russian companies (that Vladimir Putin described as little more than “restaurant businesses”), will likely not proceed. Mueller will not want to disclose the information he has because then it would become apparent that the whole thing is based on little more than smoke and mirrors.
The name of the game is Lawfare. Mueller plays it well. But when this game is played too well, it impacts how justice is delivered. Mueller may yet achieve his goal of damaging the presidency, but the cost to liberties and freedom may be too great to pay.