Special counsel Robert Mueller is pushing to wrap up his investigation.
And he is plotting to make a major move.
It could be his ace in the hole against the President.
Reports have surfaced that Mueller is expanding his probe by bringing on more career U.S. attorneys to assist with the prosecutions he currently has lined up.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is facing charges in both Virginia and Washington, D.C.
And 13 Russian nationals and three Russian internet marketing firms are standing trial for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election and violating campaign finance laws.
All this is swirling while Mueller has yet to wrap up his obstruction of justice and Russian collusion investigations.
Since Congress will not appropriate any more money for additional staff, Mueller is preparing to hand off his prosecutions so his team can zero in on their real target – President Trump.
Mueller’s decision to pass off his trials proves he never had interest in Russian election interference or related crimes committed by the “small fish” in Trump’s world.
The special counsel’s one and only target from day one has been President Trump.
Judge T.S. Ellis – who ruled in favor of Mueller in a motion filed by Manafort’s lawyers claiming Mueller exceeded his mandate – pointed out in a footnote that Mueller was only appointed to go after Trump.
“Given the investigation’s focus on President Trump’s campaign, even a blind person can see that the true target of the Special Counsel’s investigation is President Trump, not defendant, and that defendant’s prosecution is part of that larger plan. Specifically, the charges against defendant are intended to induce defendant to cooperate with the Special Counsel by providing evidence against the President or other members of the campaign.”
In his quest to destroy the President, Mueller is now facing a crucial decision.
Will his office subpoena President Trump to compel his testimony?
There is no indication from the President or his lawyers that he will talk to Mueller.
Trump’s lawyers and supporters – and even some independent observers – believe the only reason Mueller wants to talk to Trump is to set a perjury trap to create grounds for impeachment.
If Mueller subpoenas Trump, the fight could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
There is no precedent on this issue, so this could be one of the most high stakes legal fights in American history.
Mueller passing off his prosecutions to career U.S. attorneys means he believes the battle with the White House will be all hands on deck and he needs his entire team at his disposal.
There is always a chance a Trump interview could be negotiated without a subpoena fight.
Special Prosecutor Ken Starr came to an agreement with Bill Clinton’s lawyers over his testimony in 1998 to avoid a court battle over a subpoena.
Or Mueller could decide he does not need Trump’s testimony to complete his report.
But one way or the other, Mueller’s investigation is moving into a new phase and the end appears to be in sight.
We will keep you up to date with any new developments in Robert Mueller’s witch hunt against President Trump.