Press: Mueller lowers the boom

Press: Mueller lowers the boom
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For 10 months, Donald Trump has done everything in his power to undermine and discredit the FBI’s investigation into the Russian connection. He calls it a “witch hunt.” He ridicules it as “fake news.” He blames it on Democrats who can’t accept the fact that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE lost the election. He begged then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation, and when Comey refused, he fired him.

Over the weekend, Trump adopted a new tactic, urging Republican lawmakers to “DO SOMETHING!” in order to shift the focus away from him and back on Clinton. Disgraced Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) already tried, by launching congressional investigations into two unrelated matters: Democratic funding for an opposition research “dossier” on candidate Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s role in the Russian government’s purchase of an American uranium company.

Both issues are nonstarters. Funding for the Trump dossier was initially provided by Republican Never Trumpers; Democrats merely took over funding once Trump won the GOP primary. And while the State Department under Clinton did, indeed, approve the Russian uranium deal, it was only one of 11 government agencies, led by the Treasury Department, to do so — and, by law, none of that uranium can be sold outside the United States.

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But no matter. Any traction Trump and Republicans might have received from those two diversions was crushed Monday, the moment special counsel Robert Mueller lowered the boom with indictments of Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates.

 

According to Mueller, Manafort and Gates made tens of millions of dollars working for Ukrainian political parties tied to Russia and then laundered that money to hide payments from foreign entities. The indictment charges them with 12 counts, including “conspiracy against the United States” and “conspiracy to launder money.” At the same time, it was revealed that former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his efforts to set up meetings with senior Russian officials.

Make no mistake about it. This is huge. Or, as Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says lawmakers should censure Schiff Schiff says committees will eventually make impeachment inquiry transcripts public Trump threat lacks teeth to block impeachment witnesses MORE might say, this is a BFD. Mueller’s action proves that everything Trump has said about the Russian investigation so far is wrong. It is not a witch hunt. It is not about nothing. It is not a sideshow created by Democrats. It is a serious investigation into serious issues of collusion and obstruction conducted by a serious senior prosecutor. In five short months, it has already uncovered criminal activity by three members of Donald Trump’s political team.

And here’s what’s most troubling for Donald Trump: The Russian investigation is not going away. It doesn’t end here. This is just the first stop on Mueller’s long road ahead. There will be more indictments. There will be more people charged, leading from campaign workers to White House staffers and perhaps all the way to the Oval Office.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE, meanwhile, is still whining about why everybody’s focused on him and not Hillary. Why? Because he’s the president and Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos worked for him.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”