Sorry I’ve been mostly absent the past week.

The Vassar meltdown threw me for a loop. I devoted much more time getting ready for the lecture due to the campus hysteria, and have had to devote more time than expected after the event starting the process of addressing the malicious lies spread about me by people who seem to care little for the truth.

Then I had a family event to travel to the entire extended weekend, then we lost power in Rhode Island on Sunday night and Monday due to an unexpectedly strong windstorm.

So I’ve had to watch several news cycles without being able to jump in. One of those cycles was the indictment of Paul Manafort and the guilty plea disclosure for George Papadopoulos.

Certainly this is not the end of the Mueller investigation story, but so far, it’s proceeding as predicted: Rounding up the usual suspects close to Trump and process crimes.

Nothing in the Manafort indictment has to do with Trump. Apparently Mueller was unable to flip Manafort against Trump prior to filing charges (or did he?) so the pressure increases. Manafort may not have anything to give up on Trump, he may just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and now is a target.

Expect Mueller to find crimes by others in the Trump orbit, having nothing to do with Trump.

Papadopoulos is more interesting, but his was a process crime – lying to the FBI (before Mueller was involved) and thereby obstructing justice. There’s a lot of speculation that Papadopoulos is somehow more of a danger to Trump because at least superficially there was a connection to the campaign. Papadopoulos lied about communications relating to the campaign, but there’s nothing so far to suggest the communications themselves were illegal. There’s also speculation he wore a wire.

So certainly Mueller is just getting started, but so far no surprises.

Which raises another question. Why is anyone voluntarily speaking with the FBI or Mueller’s team about anything related to the investigation? It’s a field of landmines, where even someone trying to be honest could make errors that are indictable as obstructing justice. Memories just aren’t that good, and nothing is going to be forgiven when it comes to Trump.

Which also reminded me of this video I first saw a few months ago on why even completely innocent people should not talk to the police. The video apparently is something of a classic, but I had never seen it until a few months ago.

I was going to write about it them, but it fell by the wayside. I was reminded of it again by Jeff B on Twitter.

The best thing for me about the video is when I was watching it for the first time, a few minutes in I realized, hey that’s Jim Duane, my law school classmate! He was a very good guy and very smart, and he has some smart advice. But it’s easier said than done to not talk to the cops — we want to be helpful, we want to trust good intentions, and we want to prove our innocence.

Which is probably why a lot of people are talking to the feds about Trump. Which means there are going to be a lot more unintentional process crime indictments.


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