(National Sentinel) Political Timing: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald J. Trump and his campaign over alleged “collusion” with Russia may take at least another year to complete, fueling speculation in some quarters he may time the release of his findings to coincide with the 2018 elections.
As reported by the Washington Post, members of Trump’s legal team who are scheduled to meet with the special counsel’s office this week are hopeful that Mueller’s probe is wrapping up.
However, the Post said, citing individuals familiar with the probe, the meeting could actually spur further investigation and create new tensions between the special counsel’s office and an increasingly frustrated President Donald J. Trump.
Those close to the investigation told the paper that it could last another year, referring to ongoing cooperation from witnesses such as former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Also, there could even be a trial involving a pair of former Trump officials.
As the special counsel’s office continues to request new documents, those working on the probe have told associates and friends they expect to be working through most of 2018.
That has triggered speculation among some in Trump’s corner that the special counsel’s findings could be timed for release in a manner that would do the most damage to the president’s party at the polls.
Already, Republicans in Congress are pointing to evidence of bias. They have noted that the special counsel’s office is filled with Democratic donors, including giving money to Trump’s election opponent, Hillary Clinton, with one Mueller prosecutor even attending Clinton’s election night party.
They also point to a suspicious email exchange between former lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which appears to indicate a plot to deny Trump the White House or, if he should win, find a way to have him removed. Further, the exchanged texts indicate that the plot was discussed in the presence of current FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Trump allies also note that the creation of the special counsel in the first place was suspicious. During testimony before a House committee earlier this year, fired FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers he purposefully leaked a memo describing an alleged meeting he had with Trump in the Oval Office specifically for the purpose of having a special counsel appointed.
Former U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy, in a column earlier this month, speculated that Mueller doesn’t have much evidence to support the original contention that Team Trump colluded with Russia. As such, he believes Mueller is now conducting an “impeachment investigation.”
“For all practical purposes, the collusion probe is over. While the ‘counterintelligence’ cover will continue to be exploited so that no jurisdictional limits are placed on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, this is now an obstruction investigation,” he wrote.
“That means it is, as it has always been, an impeachment investigation,” he added.
That is noteworthy, say political observers, given that Republicans may be in danger of losing control of the House in next year’s elections, and some Democrats are already discussing impeaching Trump.
All they lack thus far, say observers, is a reason.
“It may never come to that. We have no idea what Bob Mueller will provide,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., told The New York Times. She will likely compete with Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York to become chairperson of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, which would be responsible for returning articles of impeachment.
“Should it come to that, I hope that I would have the experience to cope with that in a very orderly and fair and informed manner,” she added.
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