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Where the Mueller probe stands



So Trump is a “subject” but not a “target” of Mueller’s investigation.

Trump’s most radical supporters are celebrating the news. On Breitbart, the comments are crazy, and entirely predictable: open complete exoneration investigation closed,” writes Zulu1. “This country on Edge and Distracted for almost a year—-
over this PHONY INVESTIGATION—–THANKS To Hillary, her Mob Syndicate & their Undeniable Corruption,”
writes Concern.

It’s Hillary Derangement Syndrome all over again!!!

Of course, it’s impossible to know if these Breitbart “commenters” are real human beings or Russian bots and trolls. Ultimately, there’s not much difference: Russian bots are created on Moscow bot farms to mimic real people in order to further the aims of the Trump family, the Republican Party, and Putin, all of whose goals overlap. Real, actual Breitbarters may technically be human, but years of unrelenting rightwing lies and propaganda have wrecked their minds. In a certain sense, they are no longer human, but mere reflecting pools for the Hannitys, Limbaughs and Alex Joneses of the neo-nazi alt.right.

More realistic voices aren’t quite as optimistic as Breitbarters. “If I were the president,” says Princeton professor Keith Whittington, “I would be very reluctant to think I’m off the hook.” Adds a former federal prosecutor, “If Trump’s lawyers know what they’re doing, they’ll tell him he’s still under great risk.”

Let’s hope so. The Mueller investigation, or what we know of it, is like a Rorschach test: one sees what one is predisposed to see. If you’re a real journalist, instead of the fake kind propagating on rightwing media, you have to remove your predispositions, as best you can, in order to perceive reality. And what we know of the Special Counsel’s probe, at this time, is that it continues to zero in on Trump, personally, his son, Donald Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as current or former aides, like Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn and who knows how many others. We know, also, that the presence of smoke doesn’t necessarily prove the existence of fire, but where there’s so much smoke, it’s only logical to assume that there’s a big fire producing it.

So Trump is a “subject” of the investigation. In common criminal jargon, that makes him a “person of interest.” The cops or prosecuting attorneys believe that the person committed crimes, but they don’t currently have enough evidence to make an iron-clad case, so they keep digging away, looking for more evidence, hoping to “turn” co-conspirators. That’s the way the legal system works. It’s the way Mueller is working.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to stir the pot with nonsense. The Mexican caravan! Getting out of Syria! Lifting fuel standards on cars! Crooked Hillary (aren’t you getting tired of that slur?) Putting the Army on the southern border! And that’s just one day’s worth of distraction. Everybody with half a brain knows what he’s up to: smokescreens, red herrings, shiny objects, anything to divert America’s attention away from the probe.

But ultimately, it doesn’t matter what Trump does. As relentlessly as erosion wears down mountains, Mueller continues to uncover, unearth and penetrate deeper into the heart of Trump’s suspicious activities, which increasingly look treasonous. So let Trump have his brief moments of phony celebration; let his enablers crow, the way the Breitbart bots are; let Trump continue to miscalculate that, by opposing and insulting Mueller and the Justice Department, he’s removing the rope from around his neck.

He isn’t. The more he jabs at it, the tighter it gets. Eventually, he won’t be able to breathe. That’s when we’re going to see what @RealDonaldTrump is capable of, when he’s fighting for his life. It’s not going to be pretty.

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