Last week, news broke that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller had secured a guilty plea and reached a deal with President Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. With one of the most senior members of the president’s inner circle now joining the investigation into his corrupt scheming, the chance that Trump would finally be held accountable for his crimes seemed suddenly very real.
But Mueller is leaving nothing to chance. In his thorough preparation for what could most be the most consequential investigation in U.S. history, the special prosecutor has taken a key precaution that has hardly been discussed, but it nullifies many of the president’s vast powers to evade prosecution (video below).
Ari Melber, NBC’s chief legal correspondent, points out that Mueller could have simply secured Flynn’s cooperation for his own investigation in the plea deal. But Mueller went a very important step further.
As Melber notes in the below clip, Flynn also agreed to cooperate with state investigations into Trump’s corruption through his many shady business dealings. The reason that this is important is because, while Trump can fire Mueller and pardon himself for federal crimes, the president does not have the authority to get out of state charges.
If investigations in New York bare fruit, Trump will be powerless to fend off the consequences for his crimes. And we have every reason to think that Michael Flynn has more than enough dirt on Trump for fruit to flourish.
So far, Trump has been protected by a spineless Republican Congress that refuses to hold him accountable. But thanks to Robert Mueller, even that may not be enough to spare our lawless president from paying the price for his crimes.
“Bob Mueller didn’t just get Mike Flynn to flip, he got him to pledge potential cooperation with local prosecutors who Donald Trump can’t touch” pic.twitter.com/9HwewiR4JC
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) December 7, 2017