ABC News is reporting that Robert Mueller’s ever expanding investigation is now looking at donations given to Trump’s inaugural committee.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned several witnesses about millions of dollars in donations to President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee last year, including questions about donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, sources with direct knowledge told ABC News.
According to a source who has sat with the Mueller team for interviews in recent weeks, the special counsel is examining donors who have either business or personal connections in Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Several donors with those ties contributed large sums to the non-profit fundraising entity – gifts that topped out at $1 million dollars, according to public records.
Fundraising for Presidential inaugurations is largely unregulated. Donations must be documented and filed with the FEC but there are few limits past that. It’s perfectly legal for foreign entities to contribute at any level they desire. It’s also not unusual in the slightest.
That means that we aren’t dealing with a situation in which Mueller is looking for marginal campaign finance violations (such as the Michael Cohen affair). All the donations mentioned in this report were properly declared. Instead, it appears they are once again looking for Russians under any and every bed in the hopes of finding some coordination to latch onto.
None of this information is new. It’s been public for a year, so why this and why now?
I’d speculate that with the election collusion narrative dead on the vine and Trump unlikely to be harmed by the Michael Cohen affair, Mueller is now lurching around in an attempt find some evidence of pay to play after the election. The theory would be that Trump made a Russian a promise in exchange for money to his inaugural committee.
It’s the longest of long shots given Trump’s actions have shown no deference to Russian interests. Former VA governor Bob McDonnell’s overturned conviction (unanimously by the Supreme Court) shows how tenuous any such pursuit would be anyway.
But this is where we are. The dogged pursuit towards a fairly easily assumed goal marches on. Robert Mueller and his team are so far off the reservation at this point that it’s impossible to even correlate recent events with their original focus.
Per Ed Morrisey this morning…
Perhaps all of this ties together in some strange way, but at least from ABC’s report, it appears that Mueller and his team are straying further from their core mission. It gives the impression that these prosecutors are looking for crimes to bring to trial rather than limiting themselves to their brief … and not for the first time, either.
Indeed. They aren’t investigating a known crime nor do they even have evidence of the possibly of a crime in regards to the inauguration. This is the very definition of a fishing expedition. Once upon a time, all conservatives and most Americans agreed that such endeavors were a fairly egregious misuse of prosecutorial power. In today’s conspiracy driven environment though, such restraint is cast aside for the hopes of fulfilling a chosen narrative.
There was a saying during the 2016 election about then candidate Trump’s constant missteps. If he were trying to lose, what would he be doing differently? The obvious insinuation being that he was indeed trying to lose. By the same token, If this special counsel were actually a “witch hunt,” what would they be doing differently? If your answer is nothing, there you go.