- The Nunes memo was not the bombshell the GOP was hoping.
- The Mueller Investigation continues to hound the Trump presidency.
- Who will be indicted, convicted, or fired as a result?
According to Republicans and pro-Trump media outlets, the Nunes Memo was going to be “bigger than Watergate.” The four-page document, written by the staff of Republican House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes, accused the FBI and Justice Department of serious misconduct regarding their work on the Trump-Russia investigation.
The House Republicans were expecting a bombshell. What they got was a dud, and the Mueller investigation continues to close in on Trump’s inner circle. Four people have been indicted or convicted to date — Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, and Paul Manafort — and more are sure to come.
Odds to be Indicted or Convicted in 2018
|CARTER PAGE||Trump’s Foreign Policy Advisor (formerly)||2/1|
The Nunes Memo centered around the ways the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page, a former foreign-policy adviser to Trump. The revelations didn’t cause much of a splash, but it did reveal that Page’s warrant was renewed several times. This suggests that the information obtained through surveillance was useful to Mueller and gave him reason to keep digging.
Page has already been questioned by the FBI for a total of at least 10 hours over five separate meetings, and he was cut from the Trump team after it was revealed that he had suspicious ties to the Kremlin.
|DONALD TRUMP JR.||President Trump’s Oldest Son||5/2|
The secret meeting at Trump tower between members of the Trump campaign and Russian lobbyists continues to be the biggest red flag in all of this. Trump Jr., who helped arrange the meeting, first claimed that the meeting was about “a program about the adoption of Russian children.” He later admitted that he agreed to the meeting with the understanding that he would receive dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Then it was revealed that he had a secret correspondence with Wikileaks, and was urged to share a link to a Wikileaks site and also parrot a false claim made by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
|JARED KUSHNER||President Trump’s son-in-law & senior advisor||3/1|
Like Don Jr., Jared Kushner was also present at the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lobbyists. On top of that, he has failed to disclose meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Sergei Gorkov, the chairman of a state-owned Russian bank. He’s also tried to set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin. We know he’s already been interviewed by the Mueller team about Michael Flynn. Now that Flynn has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the investigation, Kushner could be next.
|HILLARY CLINTON||Former Senator/First Lady; failed presidential candidate||19/1|
The Republicans, and especially Donald Trump, are still obsessed with bringing down Hillary Clinton. Some have called for a new investigation regarding a Uranium deal with the Russians, others have called for a reopening of the email scandal.
After many years of investigation, from Benghazi to the private server fiasco, Hillary Clinton has pulled through. It’s safe to say she’ll make it another year.
Odds to Resign or Get Fired in 2018
|DONALD MCGAHN||White House Counsel||2/1|
When Trump ordered the firing of Robert Mueller, he didn’t ask Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein directly. Instead, he asked Donald McGahn, the White House Counsel, to do it for him. McGahn refused and threatened to resign. Only then did Trump back down. If push comes to shove, Don McGahn could be forced to follow through on his threat.
|ROD ROSENSTEIN||Deputy Attorney General||3/2|
Donald Trump cannot fire Robert Mueller directly. The Special Council answers to the Department of Justice, so it’s the Attorney General who determines his fate. Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, it’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees Mueller.
If asked to fire Bob Mueller, Rosenstein could instead choose to resign. It happened when Nixon demanded his Attorney General fire his special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal, and it could happen again.
|ROBERT MUELLER||Special Counsel||5/2|
We know that Trump wants to fire Robert Mueller, but it could be political suicide for him if he does. The Nunes Memo didn’t do much to weaken Mueller’s standing. Those who disapproved of the investigation still disapprove; and those who approved still approve. For now, the Special Counsel is still free to continue his investigation.
|Trump testifies to Special Counsel in 2018||6/5|
|Trump is impeached in 2018||19/1|
Trump claims he’s “looking forward” to testifying under oath for Mueller’s Russia probe. His lawyers, on the other hand, are strongly opposed to the idea. Lying to the American people is unethical; lying under oath is illegal. Mueller has requested an interview with Trump, and if he refuses to testify, Mueller could subpoena the president.
There is little to no chance Trump is impeached before the calendar turns [to 2019].
As for impeachment, the House needs to vote in favor of it. This is the same House that voted to declassify a secret memo that Trump believed would vindicate him. From what we’ve seen so far, Trump is in very, very safe hands. The midterms could change all that, but the new Congress will be seated early next year, so the Democrats will have to wait until at least 2019. There is little to no chance Trump is impeached before the calendar turns.