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This week has proven to be a difficult one for President Trump. As both civil and criminal investigations draw near and his tight spot becomes tighter, one can only begin to imagine his discomfort.
The world of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has gotten a little brighter with the cooperation of Paul Manafort. Trump’s former Campaign chairman finally struck a plea deal last Friday and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice. Though Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, argues that the charges against Manafort have nothing to do with the President and could not incriminate him, Manafort apparently possesses information valuable enough for Mueller to agree to waive 5 of his 7 charges and argue leniency in his sentencing. Especially valuable is Manafort’s participation in the Russian lawyer meeting and any insight he may be able to give as to what happened there. Some theorize that Manafort’s cooperation promises the end of Mueller’s investigation.
On top of Mueller’s progress, Trump faces discovery requests pursuant to a civil suit in the U.S. District Court of Maryland. The suit alleges that Trump violated the Domestic and Foreign Emoluments Clauses of the United States Constitution through operation of the Trump International Hotel near the White House. Pursuant to those allegations, the plaintiffs, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Peter Frosh, are seeking communications between Trump and foreign and U.S. state government officials related to use of the hotel, records of the hotel’s business with foreign officials, records of cash transferred from the trust which collects the hotel’s funds to Trump, and documents from the General Services Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department which lease the hotel building to Trump.
The likely result of these two investigations is that allegations of impeachable offenses committed by Trump, conspiracy to defraud the American people, obstruction of justice, and violation of the emoluments clauses, will soon either be substantiated or refutable. And with midterm elections looming, this information could not have come at a better time. Soon there will be a Congress that can transform all of this discovery into articles of impeachment.
Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call, Getty Images