Opinion

Mueller’s Grand Jury Likely to Recommend Charges; Why Republicans Shouldn’t Worry Yet

At this point, it would be prudent for Republicans to accept a few realities. It was reported today by the Wall Street Journal that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. This is a Special Counsel and a team that the optics would indicate are out for blood. While that may not be the case, it is hard to argue that, at the least, the optics would be enough to give many Republicans pause.

What we do know at this point is that Mueller’s investigation has extended from just Russian interference into things such as President Trump’s finances and things that precede his presidential campaign. We also know that of the people he has hired, at least 8 have contributed money to the Democratic Party or its candidates, worked in the Obama administration, or have worked as democratic operatives. At the same time, there have been zero hires on the prosecutorial team with any direct connection to the Republican Party. In addition, Robert Mueller himself has close ties to James Comey, who will undoubtedly be a crucial witness as this case proceeds.

Furthermore, knowing that a Grand Jury has been impaneled allows us to draw a few other conclusions. First, in the Grand Jury proceedings there is no defense team, thus allowing Mueller and his team to present any evidence they choose with no party on hand to cross-examine or dispute their positions. We also know that the Grand Jury has been impaneled in Washington, DC, a place where President Trump received approximately 4 percent of the vote. It is highly doubtful that anyone on that Grand Jury voted for President Trump. What is far more likely is that those on the Grand Jury would have a negative opinion of the President.

Therefore, Republicans need to accept the significant probability the Grand Jury is going to recommend an indictment. However, I don’t think Republicans should start to worry just yet.

In the event that the Grand Jury does recommend an indictment and the case goes to a trial, everything will be exposed. Accepting that we don’t know all the facts, with what we currently know, it seems there is not much substance present to justify charges against President Trump or any of his allies. In a trial setting where everything will be in plain sight for the public to view, President Trump will have a defense team refuting and contrasting the claims made by prosecutors. Based on what we know now, I think the President, or whoever may be on trial, would stand a good chance of making it through a trial without major issues.

To go a step further, not only do I believe nothing will come out of the investigation into the President’s collusion with Russian, there are some other investigations currently underway it is worth taking note of. In addition to the Russia investigation that gets all the media attention, there are separate investigations currently underway with much more merit and significantly less fanfare.

The House Intelligence Committee is currently investigating the questionable unmasking done by members of the Obama administration in the final year of his presidency. This investigation has included former Nat. Security Advisor Susan Rice, former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, CIA Director John Brennan and most recently former Obama aid Ben Rhodes, who have all been subpoenaed to testify. Contrary to the Russia investigation, this investigation is steeped in actual facts pointing to, at the very least, questionable activity. With an over 300 percent increase in unmaskings in the final year of the Obama administration, there are many questions here that still need to be answered.

Additionally, we are at the infantile stages when it comes to developing facts into the scandal involving Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz and her former IT staffer. What we know as a fact is that her staffer was arrested for bank fraud while trying to board a plane to Pakistan. There is still much to be revealed and many facts that still need to come out. Nonetheless, as man who, along with members of his family worked for many Democrats in the House, this is an investigation that could be much wider and deeper than anyone is currently acknowledging.

Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation looks ominous now, and it has the potential to get worse before it gets better. But as a good friend of mine has said: “Donald Trump’s only crime is that he beat Hillary Clinton.” The Trump/Russia collusion investigation is a bonfire that will ultimately burn out. However, the multiple investigations involving Democrats are currently just simmering embers getting very little attention, and as we know, it is often the smallest, quietest embers that possess the greatest potential to spark into a devastating forest fire.