It Is Now an Obstruction Investigation
The smoke is clearing from an explosive Mueller investigation weekend of charges, chattering, and tweets. Before the next aftershock, it might be helpful to make three points about where things stand. In ascending order of importance, they are:
1.) There is a great deal of misinformation in the commentariat about how prosecutors build cases.
2.) For all practical purposes, the collusion probe is over. While the counterintelligence? cover will continue to be exploited so that no jurisdictional limits are placed on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, this is now an obstruction investigation.
3.) That means it is, as it has always been, an impeachment investigation.
Building a Case
Many analysts are under the misimpression that it is typical for federal prosecutors to accept guilty pleas on minor charges in exchange for cooperation that helps build a case on major charges. From this flawed premise, they reason that Mueller is methodically constructing a major case on Trump by accepting minor guilty pleas from Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos for making false statements, and by indicting Paul Manafort and an associate on charges that have nothing to do with Trump or the 2016 election.
That is simply not how it works, strategically or legally.
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