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 TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question 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 ConwayThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations EXCLUSIVE: Trump says it's not appropriate for Megan Rapinoe to protest during national anthem White House to block Conway from testifying over alleged Hatch Act violations 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Schiff says Intel panel will hold 'series' of hearings on Mueller report 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 TrumpDemocrats seek to ban federal spending at Trump businesses Republicans, Trump Jr. signal support for embattled West Virginia governor The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back MORE and top campaign officials, including Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortREAD: Hannity, Manafort messages released by judge Manafort, Hannity talk Trump, Mueller in previously undisclosed messages FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump puts the cart before the horse in Palestine Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline GOP launches 'WinRed' online fundraising site in response to Democrats' small-donor advantage MORE, met with Russian operatives at Trump Tower for the express purpose of getting dirt on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE.

We know that Trump associates Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJudge orders Roger Stone to file rebuttal to allegation he violated gag order Federal prosecutors allege Roger Stone violated gag order with Instagram posts House panel subpoenas Flynn, Gates 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 SessionsTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' Time magazine: Trump threatened reporter with prison time 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.”