Special Counselor Robert Mueller’s latest move is sure to leave Trump shaking in his boots.
Mueller’s team is famously leak-free. Despite that, you can learn quite a bit about the direction the investigation is taking just by who is on it. That’s why, when Mueller was known to have brought in several experts on financial crimes back in July, Trump said investigating his family’s finances would be a “red line.” A line, by the way, that Mueller immediately crossed, because everything is relevant. Now, Mueller has brought in Kyle Freeny, a prosecutor who specialized in money laundering operations during her time at the Department of Justice.
Reports lately have indicated that attention may have turned primarily to potential money laundering operations. Mueller bringing in an expert might mean they’ve found evidence to indicate money laundering, and now they just need an expert to really dig into it. Politico has more:
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An attorney working on the Justice Department’s highest-profile money laundering case recently transferred off that assignment in order to join the staff of the special prosecutor investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia, POLITICO has learned.
Before being detailed to Mueller’s team, Freeny was shepherding the Justice Department’s headline-grabbing effort to seize the profits from the film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ on grounds that the film was financed with assets looted from the Malaysian government.
In other words, Trump is in trouble. As even the relatively conservative Bloomberg reported, “Russia laundering probe puts Trump tower meeting in new light.” How long ago do you think Mueller’s team knew that? How much more damning information do they have at this point? Here’s video coverage:
The evidence Trump engaged in criminal behavior before, during, and after the 2016 campaign for president is growing. There’s a good chance that obstruction of justice, still thought to be the strongest and most easily proved charge against Trump, may be just incidental to collusion, money laundering, and other crimes. Kyle Freeny is well equipped to go down that path of investigation.
Naturally, conservatives are outraged about Mueller’s “17th left wing attorney,” despite the politics of investigators being completely irrelevant to the evidence and results presented. For one thing, it’s illegal for the DOJ to consider political donations when hiring staff. For another, Mueller is a lifelong Republican who has enjoyed bipartisan admiration for years. There’s also the fact that Donald Trump himself has donated more to Democrats than everyone on Mueller’s team, combined. Lastly, people who are investigating you aren’t your friends…they’re not supposed to be. Being biased against Trump, while investigating him, would be far less problematic than being biased for him. It’s much more difficult to create a case where one does not exist than it is to suppress evidence, like congressional Republicans have repeatedly tried to do.
Of particular interest when it comes to Kyle Freeny is an incident in 2014 where a judge attacked government attorneys, including Kyle Freeny, for “misleading” him. He wrote, “The misconduct in this case was intentional, serious and material…In fact, it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct.”
Most conservative sites are naturally leaving out the ending to that story for some strange reason:
In January, Hanen backed down, saying he accepted that the comments he regarded as misleading were “unintentional.” The lawyers involved “acted with no intent to deceive the other parties or the Court,” the Brownsville, Texas-based, George W. Bush appointee wrote, as he dropped his plans to impose sanctions on the government and on individual lawyers not specified in public court filings. (Politico)
It’s crazy how that works.
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