Mueller is once again the epicenter of U.S. politics
Among Democrats eager to take control of the House Intelligence Committee, and Republicans trying to play the James Comey card again, the Russian investigation seems to be coming to its final chapter.
For eighteen months, special lawyer Robert Mueller has been an ice floe.
His investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the alleged involvement of the Trump campaign in it has been carried out in the most silent of professionalism, but at an uninterrupted pace.
Such has been the secrecy that President Donald Trump has resorted to constant attacks, as someone who fights against ghosts in the dark.
However, some of the results of the investigation suggest that the special lawyer is reaching the end point of his investigations, either by natural conclusion or by the risk that the Trump Administration will finally find a way to stop him.
Last Tuesday, Mueller declared void the collaboration agreement that had established his team with Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort under the allegation that the latter had lied to the investigators.
Since August, Manafort has been found guilty of twelve charges of conspiracy, money laundering, false financial evidence, obstruction of justice and forgery of tax returns.
During the month of October, he turned himself over to the justice and accepted a collaboration agreement to reduce his sentence, something he will not be able to count on from now on.
Simultaneously, the former personal lawyer of the president, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to violating electoral financial laws by silencing several women with money so they would not disclose their sexual relationships with Trump.
Like Manafort, Cohen agreed to collaborate with Mueller and he also pleaded guilty this Thursday to having lied to the special lawyer, as reported by the Washington Post.
Apparently, Cohen denied that Trump was seeking economic alliances with Moscow before being elected president, something that the investigation has determined is not entirely true.
The fall from grace of two of Trump's closest advisers during his presidential campaign certainly demonstrates that the president doesn’t surround himself with the best allies.
Similarly, his constant attacks against Mueller and the investigation - which he has described as a "witch-hunt" - provide evidence that, in fact, there is something to hide.
The president's final gesture of despair was to fire his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for having recused himself from the investigation, leaving Trump vulnerable to Mueller's inquiries. Trump has also suggested he will replace Sessions with Matthew G. Whitaker, a man willing to suspend the Russia investigation at the first opportunity.
The situation becomes even more delicate for Trump after documents of the investigation carried out by Mueller put him as a focus of interest for the first time.
According to the Post, "President Trump has been labeled in the parlance of criminal investigations as a major subject of interest, complete with an opaque legal code name: 'Individual 1'."
The media explains that this new evidence, obtained through two separate fronts in Mueller's research, "casts fresh doubts on Trump's version of key events involving Russia, signaling potential political and legal peril for the president."
"Investigators have now publicly cast Trump as a central figure of their probe into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign."
The imminent threat that the Trump Administration and its Republican allies will obstruct Mueller's investigation has caused major tensions on the Capitol.
Last Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee canceled the hearing for the president's judicial nominees, as Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) demanded that a bill is secured to protect Mueller before giving way to anything else.
According to Politico, the panel was to evaluate the nomination of six judges to the Circuit Court, 15 to the District Court and several bipartisan bills this Thursday, but Flake decided to put his foot down with the decision to vote the Mueller bill first.
"Flake and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) attempted to bring up the bill on Wednesday and were blocked by Republicans that oppose it," the media said.
Within the same Republican Party, representatives of the House have subpoenaed the former FBI director James Comey (who was fired by Trump precisely to avoid being investigated) for a testimony behind closed doors, an attempt by the GOP to continue winding up the issue of Hillary Clinton's emails.
Comey’s legal team has filed a motion alleging a closed-doors testimony could harm Mueller's current investigation. Comey also asks the court to reject the subpoena in order to prevent the Judicial and Supervisory Courts from "using the pretext of a closed interview to peddle a distorted, partisan political narrative about the Clinton and Russia investigations through selective leaks."
For their part, Democrats are eager to finally take control of the House in order to begin far-reaching investigations into the entire Russian plot.
Politico also explains: "Democrats think Cohen could be a linchpin in their upcoming efforts to spotlight Trump's relationship with Russia and are hoping to call him to testify before the House once they take control of Congress."
“They’re very aware of Cohen's close connection to the president - and that he’s turned on Trump, making him a potential ally in their quest to uncover and highlight Trump's alleged dirty laundry."
In this way, the final stretch of Mueller's investigation has made all political parties show their teeth. Some are determined to find any guilt around the president, and others are afraid that, if he falls from grace, he could take the whole Republican Party with him.