The folks on the edges talk to each other.
They send txts and emails and make phone calls thinking they’re outside the sphere of scrutiny.
We got hints of this early. Our intelligence folks picked up “signals intelligence” or SigInt from Russians talking to Russians.
It lays out the crimes and the players though... and then prosecutors find ways to make triable cases other ways.
Now, apply those principles to the cases we’ve seen Mueller bring forward so far.
Likely: Flynn was confronted with the intel they had on him and knew he was cooked.
They knew the crimes. They heard and saw everything. There’d be no escape.
He’s savvy enough to know that once they have the intel, all that’s left to do is make the case.
Meaning, our protecting our intel capabilities is more important than any one crime they uncover.
So, ugly though this is, crimes go unpunished sometimes.
Rick Gates - Paul Manafort’s righthand man and a member of Trump’s transition team:
Invariably picked up by counterintel for an array of foreign crimes which, again, would take work to turn into cases triable in public.
Financial crimes, and tax crimes in particular, carry real prison time.
So, if the endgame is putting a guy away for 15 yrs...
Remember, Al Capone rotted away in prison as a dying syphilitic on tax evasion charges.
(Capone eventually died at home at 48 years old but Alcatraz pretty much did him in.)
Moving along to Paul Manafort.
Same story. A boatload of intel on serious crimes involving foreign actors. Charged w financial crimes instead.
Crimes only really triable using intel.
A prosecution for his role in the Trump-Russia conspiracy would be entirely dependent on things we’d rather keep secret.
So he got a deal for the weak, unrevealing charge of lying to the FBI.
The intel folks knowing you’re guilty and being willing to burn intel to try you are very diff things.
Papa misplayed his hand.
1) Mueller and Co. likely fully know and understand what crimes were committed by Trump, et al.
2) They are now building prosecutable cases for a subset of them which can be tried w non-sensitive evidence.
4) In parallel, they have invariably been referring cases...
Those cases will go on for years and put away more people than Watergate (which resulted in 48 convictions).
...the question isn’t whether they’re caught or whether they’ll be prosecuted.
The question is only what the public charges will be. HOW will they go down?
1) Conspiracy to interfere w the election - since enough of that evidence is public and has already burned sources/methods
2) Obstruction - since that’s a proxy of sorts for collusion
4) Misc. financial crimes related to the money trail for all of the above
Mueller puts criminals in jail. He doesn’t care much about style points.
They aren’t investigating potential guilt.
They’re building cases to prosecute the guilty.
We don’t know how the charges will read.
They will be a product of what Mueller can most easily publicly prosecute.
They will just be a tool to bring about serious prison time.
Mueller knows what Trump and co. have done.