Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election may be limited in scope, but the evidence of corruption and wrongdoing it’s uncovered has sparked multiple investigations that now threaten to completely engulf the Trump presidency.
Writing in the Washington Post, former Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller and former U.S. attorney Joyce White Vance argue that Mueller’s probe is the root of a “family tree” of investigations that only promise to make life even more difficult for the Trump White House.
“What began as an FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has sprouted into multiple investigations in multiple jurisdictions examining multiple possible crimes,” they write. “The case against the president’s personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is the direct line, the first child. The investigation of the inaugural committee, which sprang from the Cohen case, is the grandchild. And on it goes.”
They also debunk claims made by President Donald Trump that all these investigations are part of a coordinated partisan “witch hunt” against him, since prosecutors must “develop probable cause to believe they will uncover evidence or the fruit of a crime in order to convince a federal judge to issue a search warrant,” which means they already have substantial evidence to suggest crimes have been committed.
And this is why, they conclude, Trump’s legal troubles won’t go away the minute Mueller’s probe wraps up. In fact, they could dog him and his family beyond his presidency.
“It’s this threat of multiple ongoing investigations spanning the foreseeable future that should frighten the president the most,” they write. “Whatever his personal criminal liability, it’s now proven that the organizations he has run – business, political and governmental – have been populated with actual criminals.”