UNITED STATES - JUNE 19: FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on oversight of the FBI. ...
Tom Williams

Trump’s problem with Mueller: the special counsel is ‘batting a thousand’

The Rachel Maddow Show, 9/14/18, 9:00 PM ET

Mueller secures full cooperation, guilty plea from Manafort

Rachel Maddow reports on the amazing twist in the case of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who not only agreed to a guilty plea but also agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors.
Rachel Maddow reports on the amazing twist in the case of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who not only agreed to a guilty plea but also agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors.
Yesterday morning, Donald Trump published a familiar tweet, summarizing his fury over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “The illegal Mueller Witch Hunt continues in search of a crime,” the president wrote. “There was never Collusion with Russia, except by the Clinton campaign, so the 17 Angry Democrats are looking at anything they can find. Very unfair and BAD for the country. ALSO, not allowed under the LAW!”

It was the “in search of a crime” phrase that stood out for me as amusing. Whether Trump has noticed this or not, Mueller has already secured convictions and/or guilty pleas in cases against several members of the president’s inner circle – suggesting the special counsel’s “search” is actually going quite well.

In fact, we have a pretty good idea as to why Trump is throwing this tantrum: the special counsel keeps racking up victories. Following Paul Manafort’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors, Rachel said something on the show that stood out for me:

“This is the eighth person convicted or pleading guilty in Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the election. Robert Mueller is now batting a thousand in terms of convictions and guilty pleas from everybody who he has pursued in court.

“He’s also now batting a thousand in terms of securing cooperation from every single American who has been charged in this case – including the president’s national security adviser, the president’s deputy campaign chair, and now the president’s campaign chairman who himself has decades’ worth of links to the former Soviet Union and whose business partner is believed by the FBI to be himself linked to Russian intelligence agencies.”

When Paul Manafort struck a deal it was a breakthrough – and not just because Manafort oversaw Donald Trump’s political operation in 2016, and not just because Manafort is in a position to help the special counsel get to the truth.

Rather, when the special counsel flipped Manafort – by some measures, “nabbing his white whale” – he also sent a powerful reminder to everyone involved in the scandal that Mueller is on a winning streak that’s likely to continue.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on “Meet the Press” yesterday, in reference to Manafort’s deal, “[T]his sends a message to anyone who is in Bob Mueller’s crosshairs right now: you better get to the special counsel and make your deal now, because anyone who gets indicted by Bob Mueller goes down. And the longer you wait to come clean, the worse deal you’re going to get, the more time you’re going to face.”

Is it any wonder Trump is whining about the investigation being “illegal” and “not allowed under the law”?