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 TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral 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 ConwayTrump doesn't share values of Jewish community, says Dem Jewish advocate Kellyanne Conway defends Trump: Husband isn't a psychiatrist Trump: George Conway 'a whack job' 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 TrumpOn The Money: Liberal groups pressure Dems over Trump's tax returns | Top Trump economist says tax cuts powering economy | Trump Jr. slams Theresa May over Brexit delay | Watchdog warns of 'rosy' assumptions in Trump budget Trump Jr. slams Brexit delay: 'Theresa May should have taken my father's advice' The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms MORE and top campaign officials, including Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortSenior Ukrainian official says he's opened probe into US election interference Mueller team asks court for delay, citing 'press of other work' Pollster says 'surprised' 37 percent of Republicans don't oppose Trump pardoning ex-associates MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerIvanka Trump, Jared Kushner treat reporters during Jewish holiday of Purim NYC official accuses Kushner Cos. of illegally operating buildings without certification Trump to host Netanyahu at White House MORE, met with Russian operatives at Trump Tower for the express purpose of getting dirt on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Trump's approval rating stable at 45 percent Kellyanne Conway: 'I think my gender helps me with the president' MORE.

We know that Trump associates Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneOverwhelming majority of voters want final Mueller report released: poll Trump seizes on poll that shows half agree Mueller investigation is a 'witch hunt' Judge sets Roger Stone trial for early November 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 SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump 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.”