Two business days, 14 new indictments. Bob Mueller grinds exceedingly slowly, but very, very fine. Today’s contestant is one Alex Van Der Zwaan, a lawyer whom Mueller’s team has indicted on charges that he lied to investigators regarding communications he had with Rick Gates, a former aide to Paul Manafort who, the evidence suggests, is singing a German opera to Mueller and his team at the moment. From CNN:
Alex Van Der Zwaan, who is expected to plead guilty Tuesday afternoon, is also accused of lying about the failure to turn over an email communication to the special counsel's office. He was speaking with investigators about his work with international law firm Skadden Arps in 2012, when Manafort arranged for the firm to be hired by the Ukrainian Minister of Justice to prepare a report on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko.
This may seem like a trivial bit of Tolstoyan intrigue, but it’s a signifying moment, too. It shows that Mueller is chasing every rat down every ratline. (So much for the talking point that the probe concluded last Friday with the indictment of the 13 Russians, who never will see the inside of an American courtroom.)
Also, if the investigation is reaching into the white-shoe power law firms in Washington, a lot of important people are going to get very, very nervous. Many of them have nothing to do with anything Mueller is investigating, and those people are not going to be happy watching the spreading poison of this administration*’s leaching into their boardrooms. The reaction is likely to be fierce. Skadden Arps says it cut this guy loose a year ago.
It’s pretty much assured that Manafort is securely on a spit right now and that this latest indictment is just another slow turn over the fire. And Manafort is the man who knows all the secrets. One plea at a time, Mueller is establishing that the president* is inherently corrupt and that his candidacy and election were just two unusually successful operations in a continuing criminal enterprise.
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