Even more evidence that we haven’t seen

Garrett Graff at Wired has some thoughts on the Special Counsel’s questions.

Donald Trump himself tweeted about the questions early Tuesday, saying it was a “disgrace” that they leaked, but the Times story sources the leak to people on Trump’s side; Mueller’s team continues to operate almost entirely leak-free. It’s also hard to read the leaks as anything other than an attempt to bring public pressure on Trump to refuse an interview with Mueller’s team.

Hm. Trump’s people leak the questions, and Trump uses the questions to rage at his enemies some more. And Trump’s people are trying to fix things so that he will refuse to talk to the Special Counsel’s team, so that he can continue to destroy the country having cheated and lied to get elected.

Taken as a whole, the leaked questions help shape and underscore some key takeaways:

1. Mueller always knows more than we think. Every single indictment has been deeper, broader, and more detailed than anyone anticipated. This “misunderestimating” of what Mueller knows has been both true of the public and media reports, and of his witnesses and targets: Both Rick Gates and Alex van der Zwaan were caught in lies by Mueller’s team, who have known far more specific information than their targets first realized. Presumably, Mueller’s questions to Trump are informed by even more evidence that we haven’t seen.

That is, people lie about stuff they think Mueller’s team doesn’t know, but Mueller’s team does know, so there’s your lying to the special counsel charge.

3. There are more loose threads than ever. Perhaps the most troubling conclusion after reading Mueller’s proposed questions is just how many questions exist about the behavior and motivations of the President of the United States during his first year in office. The 49 questions lay out just how much remains unanswered and unknown, publicly at least, nearly a year into Mueller’s special counsel work. It’s hard to tell from the questions alone which ones represent the most possible jeopardy for the president, but when matched against the five core areas of Mueller’s investigation, it’s clear that Mueller wants to talk with President Trump about nearly all of them, from obstruction of justice to the Trump Organization’s business deals in Russia to the 2016 Trump campaign’s involvement with various Russian officials. Add in the full breadth of the investigation, from New York taxi medallions to Virginia rug stores, and the “supporting players”—including Erik Prince, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, Tony Podesta, Carter Page, Sergey Kislyak, Sergey Gorkov, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, as well as the hackers of Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear—and it’s clear that this is no made-up “witch hunt.” There are likely more indictments yet to come.

But but but, come the cries, he’s a sitting president, he can’t be prosecuted. This is what I don’t get. This stuff is ongoing. It’s not a parking ticket from 20 years ago, it’s contemporary and Trump is benefiting from it right now. Can it really be the case that he can’t be charged for ongoing crimes? If it is, we are more screwed up than most of us have ever realized.

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