PARDON-PROOF: Mueller’s Latest Move is a Stroke of Genius that Should Scare Trump Sh*tless
If Paul Manafort Thought he was in Line for a Trump Pardon, He Can Think Again After Mueller Strikes Back
A popular narrative following President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon controversial Sherrif Joe Arpaio was that the president was sending a signal to the various figures feeling the heat from Robert Mueller’s investigation into the connections between Trump and the Russian government. The fear was, as Newsweek pointed out, “Trump might simply pardon people whenever it suits his purpose“. MSNBC’s Brian Williams asked if the Arpaio pardon was a “trial balloon” for the Mueller investigation. But Mueller, it appears, shot that balloon right of the sky while simultaneously turning up the heat on Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manifort.
Poitico reports that Mueller and his team of investigators are now working in tandem with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — who was instrumental in exposing the fraudulent tactics of Trump University — on his department’s investigation into Manafort’s financial dealings with Russia.
More importantly, however, the federal officials working in tandem with the state attorneys general removes any promise or hope of a pardon or clemency from the president.
The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.
While the administration is playing checkers, Mueller is playing chess. The late summer news cycle of the president’s tolerance for white supremacists and the devastation of Hurricane Harvey may have stopped the continual drip of developments in Mueller’s investigation, but they did not stop Mueller himself.