A Lilliputian strategy to tie down the giant
The attempt to undo the 2016 election has gone through various phases, some overlapping in time period.
The first phase was the attempt to prevent the transfer of power by intimidating Electoral College Electors into not following their respective state votes.
Then came the protest phase, fueling the Inauguration protests and Women’s March, and Antifa.
Then came the Mueller phase, Part I, which is ongoing, but to date has not revealed publicly any meaningful evidence of campaign collusion with Russia. And then the Mueller phase, Part II, which is obstruction of justice for firing James Comey, someone who has revealed himself in the subsequent months to be worthy of firing, and a disgrace who has done much damage to the FBI. Then the Mueller Phase, Part III, involving non-Russian actors, reportedly from the Middle East. And then the Mueller Phase, Part IV, which so far has been the only successful phase, rounding up various people whose only crime was lying to the FBI about things that we not themselves criminal.
And throughout it all, the momentum has been sustained by the “scoop” fever of the mainstream media, falling all over each other to sustain continuous news cycles meant to freeze the administration. Often those scoops were nothing more than “sources close to the Mueller investigation indicate that Mueller is looking into such such, or considering such and such.” But it creates a never-ending cycle of 2-3 day news cycles.
But as we’ve been documenting, the current phase of The Resistance is the public lawfare against all things Trump, led by Democrat state attorney generals. Unlike the prior phases, the public lawfare is not just against Trump, his campaign or inner circle, it’s an attempt to take down Trump World.
And starting in January, House committees will join this public lawfare, and possibly the House as a whole through impeachment proceedings.
Timothy O’Brien at Bloomberg News calls it a Legal Vise:
The breadth of investigations is so sweeping — as many on social media and reporters with the Washington Post, the Associated Press, and Bloomberg News have already noted — that few of the worlds Trump inhabits have escaped prosecutors’ attention. The Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation, the Trump family, the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, the Trump inauguration, and the Trump White House are all being probed for wrongdoing.
Investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller:
- Russian government’s election attack (the Internet Research Agency and GRU indictments)
- Middle Eastern influence: Potentially the biggest unseen aspect of Mueller’s investigation is his year-long pursuit of Middle Eastern influence targeting the Trump campaign.
- Paul Manafort’s activity
- Trump Tower Moscow project
- Other campaign and transition contacts with Russia
- Obstruction of justice
Investigations by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York:
- Campaign conspiracy and Trump Organization finances
- Inauguration funding
- Trump super PAC funding
- Foreign lobbying
Investigations by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia:
- Maria Butina and the NRA
Investigations by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia:
- Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, the alleged chief accountant of the Internet Research Agency who was indicted separately earlier this fall, charged with activity that went above and beyond the 2016 campaign. Why she was prosecuted separately remains a mystery.
- Turkish influence: Michael Flynn’s plea agreement includes some details of the case, and he is cooperating with investigators.
Investigations by New York City, New York State and other state attorneys general:
- Tax case: In the wake of an N.Y. Times investigation that found Trump had benefited from more than $400 million in tax schemes, city officials said they were investigating Trump’s tax payments, as did the New York State Tax Department.
- The Trump Foundation
- Emoluments lawsuit: The attorneys general for Maryland and D.C. sent out subpoenas earlier this month for Trump Organization and hotel financial records relating to their lawsuit that the president is in breach of the “Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution, which appears to prohibit the president from accepting payments from foreign powers while in office.
And there’s a mystery investigation from an unknown office:
- Redacted Case #2: A second, redacted Flynn investigation could be one of the other investigations mentioned here. It could also represent another as-yet-unknown unfolding criminal case or could be a counterintelligence investigation that will never become public.
This is a full frontal attack on Trump World. And it’s just a continuation of the refusal to accept the results of the election with a Lilliputian strategy to tie down the giant. The sheer breadth of investigations is the point.
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