By now, you know the FBI, following a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, raided the offices and hotel room of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Such a raid is very unusual. It needed the approval of high Justice Department officials, some of whom were appointed by the president. No judge worth his robe would sign off on such a warrant unless it showed conclusively that Cohen’s records contained evidence of serious crimes and that those records might be hidden or destroyed if they were simply subpoenaed, as is usually the case.
But what about attorney/client privilege? A good question. I am by no means a legal expert, but this is my understanding of the legal principles involved. Attorney/client privilege does not cover conspiracy to commit a crime. If I tell my attorney “I killed a man, help get me off,” that’s a privileged conversation. If I tell my attorney “I need help laundering some money,” that’s not privileged. Something called a “taint team” (no, really) will examine the records seized to make sure no privileged information is used. The use of any privileged material could jeopardize the entire investigation, meaning this raid would not have been conducted unless prosecutors believed there was slam dunk evidence against Cohen.
And that brings us the crux of the entire Mueller investigation.
It’s not about collusion. That word was carelessly used by the left early on. It would have been collusion if the Russians had said to Donald Trump, “hey, we can help get you elected.” That’s not what happened. What happened is this. Donald Trump, and likely Cohen, have been involved for years in illegal business transactions in Russia or involving Russians. At some point during the campaign, it occurred to Vladimir Putin that Donald Trump might actually become president and that he, Putin, could blackmail the American president into favoring Russian interests by threatening to reveal what he knew. This is why we haven’t seen any Trump tax returns. To release them would risk his presidency. The Russian trolls kicked into high gear and flooded social media with false information about Hillary Clinton and voilà, our first reality show president.
Mueller is a step closer to putting the pieces of the puzzle together. When he does, the Republican-controlled Congress will be confronted with the undeniable truth that the president of the United States is a criminal. They will be faced with the choice of doing their jobs as elected representatives and Americans or putting their fingers in their ears and yelling “fake news.” In 1974, Republicans did the right thing for their country, telling President Nixon he had lost their support and must step down. Will today’s Republicans do the same?