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Ale @aliasvaughn
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1. WHAT DID I SAY LAST NIGHT? I said that if Mueller knew he was NOT interviewing Trump he'd leak those questions. And that I smelled a subpoena coming. BLOOP! IT IS SUBPOENA TIME.
2. Trump's legal team told Mueller in March during a tense meeting that Trump "Had no obligation to s These fools, during NEGOTIATIONS said "oh he can just opt to not talk to you". Mueller was all "NOT QUITE. It's called a SUBPOENA, geniuses."
3. Or, as WaPo politely puts it "But special counsel Robert S. Mueller III responded that he had another option if Trump declined: He could issue a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury."
4. Dowd, who evidently was even stupider than the other lawyers in Trump's team, thought he could answer "this isn't some game, you are screwing with the work of the President of the US". Err hello Dowd, you genius? REMEMBER BILL CLINTON? HE WAS SUBPOENAED.
5. So NOT ONLY can Mueller do this, but THERE IS PRECEDENT. For those unfamiliar with the process, we're talking about a subpoena to appear IN FRONT OF A GRAND JURY.
6. Now, a fun fact: Clinton's testimony was live on close-circuit TV, it was recorded and a month later? ALL US networks broadcast it for the US public to see. Again, this is called PRECEDENT, and it's one hell of a good one.
7. In this context, what Rosenstein said TODAY is extremely interesting. Bc Mueller will have to get Rosenstein on board for that subpoena. Rosenstein said today that "Justice Dept won't be extorted by impeachment threats". And no, I do NOT believe in coincidences.
8. To be clear, Trump CANNOT refuse to appear in front of a Grand Jury. This is not a choice. MARSHALS will go get him at the WH if he refuses to comply with it.
9. A subpoena to appear in front of a GJ is not an invitation, it's an OBLIGATION. And as I said, there's a VERY big precedent with Clinton, so Trump? Is, as usual, cornered. And all the theatre since March from his lawyers has just been them BUYING TIME.
10. Now repeat again bc there are people who do NOT understand how Trump MUST appear in front of GJ. And also, it appears quite a few people are COMPLETELY unfamiliar with the concept that pleading the 5th IS A COMPLETELY UNTENABLE POSITION FOR A PRESIDENT.
11. And even if he pleaded the fifth, HE HAS TO SHOW UP. Mind you if Trump pleads the fifth, his presidency is over in that moment. So once again for those who haven't kept up over the past few months (as @DrDenaGrayson and I have been repeating this). HE HAS NO GOOD CHOICE.
12. And YES his Presidency would MOST definitely be over even with THIS Congress. By the way, this is why Mueller told Trump and lawyers that HE IS A SUBJECT of the investigation. BC that way he can EASILY put him in front of GJ.
13. This is why Trump being called a SUBJECT instead of a TARGET (which he obviously is) matters. Also and BTW, while Clinton was OBVIOUSLY a target and he WAS put in front of GJ? Prosecutors refused to publicly officially admit he was a target. That's how it works.
14. A target isn't usually put in front of a GJ. While there is NO law for this, it's a matter of "standard practice" within DoJ. In extraordinary circumstances, a target CAN be put in front of GJ. But anyway, THIS is why Trump was told he is a SUBJECT, NOT a target.
15. "Without a resolution on the interview, the standoff could turn into a historic confrontation before the Supreme Court over a presidential subpoena." Yeah and with Clinton's precedent and a FORMIDABLE SCOTUS litigator on his side, I'd say Mueller is sleeping soundly.
16. By the way, Trump's amount of time spent GOLFING would also entirely blow up the whole "President doesn't have time" argument. he's got "nowhere to run to baby, and nowhere to hide".
17. This brings back an extremely interesting piece Politico had on two DEFENSE lawyers for the Russia probe that based on their interaction with Mueller's team, said they thought he COULD, in fact, INDICT Trump.…
18. "When an incumbent Pres., whether it’s Bush or Obama or Trump, spends an enormous amount of time on the golf course, it’s a little bit fanciful to say the president can’t be called to account for alleged criminality bc he’s got to be available 24 hours-a-day to be president"
19. That was Philip Allen Lacovara, who served as a top counsel to the two Watergate special prosecutors, in the previous quote. In essence: sure, they can litigate up to SCOTUS and guess who SCOTUS will side with? Not Trump.
20. Mueller hired MIchael Dreeben for a reason. "Dreeben is best known for having argued more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court — a feat that fewer than 10 other attorneys have accomplished in the court's history." If Trump's lawyers want to pick a fight? They're served.
21. On top of having VERY little chance to succeed, Trump's lawyers would be incredibly stupid in trying to fight a GJ subpoena for the simple reason that they WILL make Trump look MORE guilty. No one who's got nothing to hide acts like that, obviously.
22. But, as this WaPo story shows with what Dowd reportedly told Mueller, Trump's lawyers ARE incredibly stupid and arrogant in front of Mueller. So, let's assume they will litigate in front of SCOTUS, and let's get ready to watch Dreeben ROAST them.
23. As Joyce Vance just explained on @maddow, Dreeben is there for a reason and he would take care of having an expedited process with SCOTUS, so that everything would move speedily.
24. So again, there is NO good option here for Trump. NONE whatsoever. Clinton DID go in front of the GJ voluntarily in the end (after a subpoena WAS issued) and his testimony was, as I said, recorded NAD broadcast in its entirety a month later.
25. Clinton's lawyers, that were WAAAAY better than Trump's, simply understood they not only stood little to no chance of winning a SCOTUS argument, but also that they would make his position WAY worse. They DID fight with Starr, but in the end saw he had no choice.
26. Trump's lawyers do not stand a chance against Dreeben, but they're stupid, so they may try to litigate. The real point everyone is not considering here though is the POLITICAL one. Things would DRASTICALLY change in the face of something like this.
27. In the SENATE especially, there would be ENORMOUS pressure on Trump (YES from GOP Senators, too) to answer the questions once a subpoena is issued. Trump & his team would NOT be making decisions in a cosmic void. And Trump, at the core, IS A COWARD.
28. So if it got to this, which is a BIG if, Mueller would have everything planned via Dreeben in order to make it as quick as possible AND he would only go there if he thought it was useful for his end result. If not, he would simply opt out of litigating.
29. My point is, if litigation does happen, it means Mueller knows he has a VERY strong chance at winning. Otherwise, Mueller simply won't go there bc he doesn't NEED Trump's testimony, he has him nailed, this is a matter of principle more than "need".
30. So the other mistake that a lot of people are making, ist hat they're not considering there are TWO sides involved here, NOT just one. Mueller can simply start raining indictments (on Kushner, Jr. Ivanka, too) and bye bye.
31.The fact Mueller even BROUGHT UP the subpoena means he is VERY confident on the outcome of that. ANd @JoyceWhiteVance said on @maddow (and I agree) that for Mueller to even bring this up, he'd have checked with Rosenstein BEFORE his discussion with Trump's lawyers.
32. In sum, stop seeing things as if Trump is holding the key to this bc HE IS NOT. MUELLER IS. There are TWO sides and Trump is in a corner while Mueller has PLENTY of cards to play. THAT is the reality of things.
33. The other reality that a lot of people are refusing to acknowledge is that there are a BUNCH of Republican Senators who HAVE been standing up to Trump. Stop only paying attention to theater, and look at what is actually happening. Like the JUDICIARY CMTE MUELLER BILL.
34. Stop looking at WORDS and start looking at BILLS. Bc it appears a lot of you aren't. "Blah blah blah catering to crazy base" means NOTHING when Judiciary JUST approved a bill to PROTECT MUELLER. THAT is an act, not words.
35. Again, the pressure on Trump in the event of a subpoena would be ENORMOUS. And Trump is a coward. And he does NOT tolerate pressure well at all. Regardless, as I said: this subpoena scenario WAS brought up for a reason and WON'T go to SCOTUS unless Mueller thinks he'd win.
36. So again, the subpoena news? is very good for us and VERY bad for Trump. And they know it. Mueller would NOT make an empty threat. This is why they've desperately tried to buy time for weeks. Mueller holds the winning hand. NOT TRUMP. #MuellerIsComing /END.
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