If you enjoyed the movie-like quality of Friday, January 25th — the dramatic early morning raid that brought down Roger Stone, the grounding of flights at major airports across the country, the epic political curbstomping the President received at the hands of a 78-year-old grandma — you’re going to love what Robert Mueller is slowly turning into the Trump Cinematic Universe.
I guess they didn’t call him “Director” for nothing.
A new report in the New York Times on Saturday compiles the last two years of investigations, the newspaper’s own reporting, documents submitted to Congress, and court records available to investigators and reporters that pertain to Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Inside that report is an accounting of just how many times — and the numbers are staggering — Trump himself, his kids, his lawyers, his assistants, his appointees, and literally almost everyone in his orbit had materially illicit contact with Russians between the nomination and the inauguration. Between all of them? Over a hundred meetings, lunches, phone calls, document signings, personal letters back and forth, and even social media communications.
Stone appears to have had the most contacts, according to the research: He met or spoke with Russian nationals and intermediaries at WikiLeaks — who have been proven to have been working on behalf of Russia — 18 times. Six of the seven charges against Stone are directly related to those contacts, from false statements [about his contacts] to obstruction of an official proceeding [by stonewalling investigators about his contacts].
But the sequels to the Stone blockbuster look to be just as promising.
Michael Flynn had five contacts; Donald Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort each had six contacts; George Papadopoulos had a dozen; Michael Cohen had 17 contacts; and the President’s namesake — his eldest son Don Jr. — had 17 contacts.
Think about what you’ve seen happen with Cohen so far over the past year and a half. Now extrapolate that for when Mueller decides to comes for Donny Junior. He had personal exchanges with WikiLeaks, he arranged the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, and he was neck deep in stolen DNC emails.
When this is all over, Stone’s arrest is going to look like the “Iron Man 2” of Mueller’s Trump Cinematic Universe: Exciting, but with a pretty cliché bad guy.
Featured image via screen capture