Press: Mueller closes in on Trump

Of the thousands of Trump tweets we’ve seen so far, his Dec. 7 missive must take the cake: “Totally clears the president. Thank you!”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE was responding to documents filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in southern New York which accused the president of the United States of ordering and directing his personal attorney to arrange two illegal payments to help his 2016 campaign: one to Stormy Daniels and one to Karen McDougall, both to buy their silence about an alleged extramarital affair.

In other words, backed up with solid evidence, federal prosecutors charged the president with breaking the law. Twice. And, in response, the president actually tweeted: “Totally clears the president.” That’s like the old joke: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you enjoy the show?” Or, as attorney George Conway, husband of presidential counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway: ‘Insane’ if Trump spoke to Cohen about testimony Conservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report Trump 2020 campaign manager hits George Conway: 'Think how bad of a husband you have to be' MORE, himself tweeted: “Except for that little part where the U.S. Attorney’s Office says that you directed and coordinated with Cohen to commit two felonies. Other than that, totally scot-free.”


It makes you wonder what planet the president lives on, or whether there’s anyone around him who can pop his bubble. The fact is, rather than clearing the president, what we’ve seen over the last ten days from both the U.S. attorney and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE has implicated the president more and more in illegal activity.

Take the Russian connection. Even though Mueller has not yet used the word “collusion,” there’s growing evidence that, despite all his denials, Trump himself and members of his team had multiple, ongoing contacts with Russian officials on at least three fronts: seeking campaign assistance, making connection with WikiLeaks and pursuing a new hotel project in Moscow.

Nobody but his team of prosecutors knows what Robert Mueller has discovered so far. But from public documents and court filings, what we already know is highly damaging to Donald Trump. As compiled by Axios, we know that several Russian officials reached out to Republicans close to Trump, including his eldest son, offering “synergy” with his presidential campaign, and that no one in the Trump operation alerted the FBI. We know that, on June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpConservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Special counsel issues rare statement disputing explosive Cohen report MORE and top campaign officials, including Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortBuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Dems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell The case for Russia sanctions MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Trump expected to pitch immigration deal to end funding stalemate The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World MORE, met with Russian operatives at Trump Tower for the express purpose of getting dirt on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto Conservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report MORE.

We know that Trump associates Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneHillicon Valley: Senate panel subpoenas Roger Stone associate | Streaming giants hit with privacy complaints in Europe | FTC reportedly discussing record fine for Facebook | PayPal offering cash advances to unpaid federal workers Senate panel subpoenas Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi Corsi says stepson subpoenaed to testify before grand jury in Mueller investigation MORE and Jerome Corsi coordinated with WikiLeaks to learn what information they had received from Russian hackers. We know that Trump officials, including Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE, Michael Flynn and Kushner, continued talking with Russian contacts during the transition — and that Kushner suggested setting up a secret back channel with the Kremlin. We know that Manafort, Flynn and Kushner lied about their Russian connections.

And we also know that, as candidate for president, Donald Trump was personally and secretly involved in trying to build a new Trump Tower in Moscow, while publicly lying about it. Which begs the question: If Trump knew about hush payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougall and negotiations for the hotel project, how can we believe he knew nothing about the meeting with Russian operatives on June 9?

From all we know, Donald Trump is in serious legal trouble. We haven’t even seen Robert Mueller’s final report, yet Trump’s already been accused of two federal crimes. As an unindicted co-conspirator, he’s already entered Richard Nixon territory and could face the same consequences. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you enjoy the show?

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”