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THOMPSON: Even Trump should admire 'the deal' of Mueller's investigation

February 25, 2019 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Donald Trump isn't very happy these days…for a lot of reasons. Adding insult to injury, last week he found out that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is a money maker.

The wide-ranging probe — launched May 17, 2017 — continues to look into any possible links or coordination between Donald Trump’s campaign and Administration and Russia, as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

Of course, truth and justice are the primary interests of the Department of Justice. But when you can deliver those goals at no cost or actually put money into the U.S. Treasury…well, that’s the model of government efficiency.

As of last Friday, the Mueller investigation has cost American taxpayers $25.6 Million. But unlike virtually every other investigation coming out of Washington, D.C. for decades, including Nixon and Watergate, Clinton and Whitewater, Reagan and Iran-Contra, Benghazi…the Mueller probe is awash in black ink.

That’s because the seized property of those found guilty, including Paul Manafort, is worth about $28.6 Million, and will be auctioned with proceeds going to the U.S. Treasury. I reckon there will be others who plead guilty or will be found guilty…so keep a calculator handy.

Even with some pending claims - like Federal Savings Bank, whose CEO approved $16 million in suspect loans to Manafort with the hope of getting a plum job in the Trump Administration - only a fraction of any proceeds will be returned. As Steve Martin’s character Navin R. Johnson said in “The Jerk” with near political eloquence: “Ah, it’s a profit deal. Takes the pressure off.”

Of course, President and Liar-in-Chief Donald Trump claimed the investigation had run up a huge bill in one of his Tweets last Nov. 29.

“When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end - or will it just go on forever? After wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing —there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous!”

Just to be clear…allow me to answer two of the president’s questions and speak truth to a couple of his lies. The Mueller probe will end sooner than Trump might like, and, no, it’s not possible the investigation has cost more than $40 million…because that’s another lie, as shown above. Finally, the investigation hasn’t cleared Trump or his minions of collusion with Russia. Indeed, it will likely find conspiracy, which is the actual crime.

As I’ve said all along…the Mueller investigation is going to turn up more crimes and more corruption than in any previous president’s administration.

I could speculate about what specifics Mueller has found and might find, but quite frankly, anything my fertile imagination might come up with would likely pale against fact.

Clearly, Mueller knows more than he’s telling. Even so, what we do know is enough to make any reasonable person raise an eyebrow.

Consider - in no particular order - this partial list of suspicious actions or behaviours.

No other presidential campaign had more contacts with Russia…at least 14 people and 101 meetings.

Manafort shared polling data with an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.

Manafort appears to have communicated with Ukrainian contacts that a Trump administration would ease sanctions and facilitate a “peace plan” that would allow Russian control of Crimea…something Putin would want and reason enough to favour Trump in the 2016 election.

Trump has never - ever - said anything critical of Putin…and has met with him privately six times for nine hours with no American translators, note takers or aides present.

The list could go on and on…but not without exceeding the limits of this column by a few thousand words. I’ll be the first to admit that politicians are famous for lying…but none can match Trump in terms of how often he lies or how absurdly ridiculous they are.

Last week, his pants were on fire. He actually tried to take credit for a “new idea I had” for the nation’s capital…a huge parade and fireworks on the Fourth of July!

Also, in a campaign rally - yes, campaign rally - he unveiled a banner and new slogan - ”Finish the Wall” - to replace his old one…”Build the Wall.” Trouble is…not a single mile of wall has been built during Trump’s presidency.

Perhaps it is so that a lie travels halfway around the world before truth gets its shoes on. Stupidity and ignorance always fuels the speed of lies.

Like an iceberg, most of Trump’s unethical, illegal, scandalous behaviour and “high crimes and misdemeanours” are hidden. But, Bob Mueller can see beneath the surface. And though Trump’s new Attorney General, Bill Barr, will likely limit what the public hears and sees of Mueller’s report…it’ll be too late.

By then, truth will finally have its shoes on and will travel around the world. All that truth…and at a profit, too. One thing, for sure…Donald “Art of the Deal” Trump never made such a deal.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.

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