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“THE WOLF IS AT THE DOOR!”
Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager, Paul Manafort, got a surprise visit at his Northern Virginia home yesterday morning when 12 FBI agents undertook a pre-dawn raid on his home and made off with various documents thought to contain evidence of criminal activity. The raid was instigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and was authorized by a judge who “signed off” on the warrant shown to him by Mueller’s crew which specified in great detail the precise documents they were after, documents evidencing criminal activity and as such in danger of being destroyed by Manafort unless obtained immediately and by complete surprise. A mere subpoena would have given Manafort time to destroy and all such documents.
Trump’s own lawyer, John Dowd, a well-established D.C. lawyer, sent a vituperative email to the New York Times saying that the raid was an egregious miscarriage of justice. For one thiing, Mr. Dowd is NOT Paul Manafort’s client. He is Donald Trump’s lawyer. For another thing, anything said along these lines, by inference, implicates the President because it raises the spectre that there likely was something in those papers that related to the president or that directly or indirectly implicates Mr. Trump in this whole tawdry Russian-Trump campaign collusion matter.
Silence is golden. The first rule of law is say no more than you have to. Mr. Dowd has said too much and it does not bode well for his client, Donald Trump.
The “extreme nature” of this raid by Mueller, with 12 FBI agents in a pre-dawn action is a signal that Mueller is taking no chances in any evidentiary material disappearing or any targets from falling through the cracks. It also shows the conviction Mueller has in himself and his mission because such a decision to conduct a large pre-dawn raid carries with it enormous risks if it turns out they misjudged the culpability of their target.
Mueller is apparently running a very tight ship at an exceedingly high efficiency and is sending a powerful message to the principals that the only game available to them is to fully cooperate or face the prospect of a very long prison sentence. Joining Manafort, in due course, will be Michael Flynn. Back In February/March he indicated he was willing to appear before a Senate Committee but only if he was given immunity. Now, his legal team better jettison that idea and face reality. Flynn’s only true option is to cooperate fully without immunity or face the same prospects staring back at Manafort, a long prison sentence.
The ice has been broken and Mueller will now proceed with all deliberate speed. He’s not going anywhere, he will not be fired and he’s definitely following the money trail and all such trails, ultimately, lead back to the oval office. The degree of difficulty in having a judge sign off on a search warrant of this magnitude is far higher than that to obtain tax returns. It is almost axiomatic that Mueller has, by now, already obtained at least some of Trump’s tax records and there’s no reason why he could not go back decades.
The Wolf Is Now At The Door, Mr. Trump!
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