Remember back earlier on Thursday, when the president* got into tough-guy costume and finally got around to implementing the sanctions that Congress had mandated several months ago, and I wrote that, in reaction to that, Robert Mueller nodded wisely and reached for another folder? You thought I was kidding, right? From The New York Times:
In the subpoena, delivered in recent weeks, Mr. Mueller ordered the Trump Organization to hand over all documents related to Russia and other topics he is investigating, the people said. The subpoena is the latest indication that the investigation, which Mr. Trump’s lawyers once regularly assured him would be completed by now, will drag on for at least several more months. Word of the subpoena comes as Mr. Mueller appears to be broadening his investigation to examine the role foreign money may have played in funding Mr. Trump’s political activities. In recent weeks, Mr. Mueller’s investigators have questioned witnesses, including an adviser to the United Arab Emirates, about the flow of Emirati money into the United States.
From this, it looks like Mueller plans to burn it all down. It looks as though he’s decided that everything with which this president* is involved is so irredeemably corrupt and lousy with dirty money that trying to split the difference between which corruption was involved with the campaign, and what dirty money financed it, is an impossible rat’s nest to untangle. So the easiest thing is to light a match and see what burns in what color flame.
Mr. Mueller could run afoul of a line the president has warned him not to cross. Though it is not clear how much of the subpoena is related to Mr. Trump’s business beyond ties to Russia, Mr. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times in July that the special counsel would be crossing a “red line” if he looked into his family’s finances beyond any relationship with Russia. The president declined to say how he would respond if he concluded that the special counsel had crossed that line.
It’s fairly clear that Mueller has pole-vaulted over that line. Your move, dude.
In this context, all those stories about an imminent Cabinet and senior staff shakeup (Scott Pruitt for Attorney General? Pull the other one) take on a more ominous appearance. It would be perfectly in character for this president* to concoct an utter bloodbath tomorrow, firing Jeff Sessions after Sessions fires Ron Rosenstein, putting someone in place to fire Mueller, and sticking crazoid John Bolton in as National Security adviser just for fun. Then, if he can get Mike Pompeo lined up at State and the Empress of the Black Sites installed at CIA, the president* will have in place a team made up of people absolutely disinclined to inconvenience him in his pursuit of all he can grab.
The Congress? Now pull both of them at once.
There is a sense right now of something stirring in the murk. Too many people are acting far too nervously. Something shapeless is rising from the deep and, waiting for it, is Robert Mueller. He plunges implacably forward and, if he ever does look behind him, sees only the rising floodtide of the Rubicon.
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