Mueller’s team has started causing dominoes to fall with their investigation into whether Trump and/or his campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. They’ve indicted Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and an aide. They’ve also indicted George Papadopolous, who was a foreign policy adviser on Trump’s team.
Now, they’re planning to interview Trump’s current communications director, Hope Hicks. She’s scheduled to meet with them in mid-November. They’ve already interviewed former White House staff, including Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, but Hicks, and three or four others, are the first current members of the Trump administration that Mueller has tapped for interviews.
True to form, though, the White House maintains that Mueller will wrap up his investigation by Thanksgiving, and they’re at least trying to pretend that they believe Mueller will have nothing to show for it. And we have Steve Bannon trying to convince Trump to defund Mueller’s office and find other ways to end the investigation. What Bannon and anyone else considering that route don’t get is that Mueller’s budget comes from a permanent Treasury account under regulations that state that he will get all the appropriate resources necessary to conduct his investigation.
Trump can’t just defund it, even if Bannon does manage to convince him to try it.
Here’s the thing: People like Papadopolous and Manafort are now extremely dangerous to Trump. If they weren’t, surely people like Bannon would know that and he’d support using this investigation to exonerate the Complicit Orange One. Hicks has been with Trump for practically forever, and now she’s getting pulled aside to talk to Mueller and his team. Who knows what she knows.
Who knows what anyone else knows, too. Manafort and Papadopolous represent an escalation that, so far, has been unprecedented since Mueller was appointed special counsel. We have to wonder whether either of them has given Mueller information on who else he should interview that’s currently on Trump’s team. This is further escalation. Trump is in trouble.
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