July 20, 2019 | 83° F

WANG: Mueller's investigation means interesting things for America

Opinions Column: A Third Person Perspective


After a long year under President Donald J. Trump's administration, prosecutors are closing in on Trump and his alleged involvement with Stormy Daniels. MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos highlighted the F.B.I. raid on Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Cevallos’s take on the raid includes implications regarding why prosecutors chose to raid Cohen’s office instead of serving him a subpoena. While a subpoena requires an individual to provide evidence of documentation, Cevallos speculates that prosecutors chose to obtain a search warrant in order to seize everything from Cohen’s office, residence and hotel room to ensure that certain documents will not go missing. Instead, Cevallos firmly believes that while the F.B.I. considered serving Cohen a subpoena, it was eventually decided that Cohen was not trustworthy enough to deliver the documents himself. In fact, “to obtain a search warrant, prosecutors must convince a federal judge that agents are likely to discover evidence of criminal activity.” 

Mueller’s investigation sinks its claws deeper into Trump’s web of confidantes and associates. This includes son-in-law Jared Kushner who is facing scrutiny by prosecutors in Brooklyn, his former campaign chairman who is under indictment, his former national security adviser who has pleaded guilty to lying and a pair of former campaign aides who are cooperating with Mueller, according to The New York Times.

Mueller’s holding the magnifying glass as close as he can to Cohen and Trump, and Mueller’s ready to fry the both of them as soon as he discovers any evidence regarding this $130,000 of “hush money” that investigators are trying to prove was provided to Daniels without Trump’s knowledge. 

Cohen’s stupid (or selfless, or stupidly selfless) notion of obligation to the president is becoming dangerously complicated. If prosecutors can prove that Cohen made an “illegal contribution” without Trump’s knowledge, this means that a non-disclosure agreement between Trump and Daniels never existed if Trump was not even aware of the NDA’s existence. Prosecutors can also look into any privileged material between Trump and his lawyer if any evidence of a cover-up exists. In fact, Cohen has been so eager to throw himself on top of Trump to protect him that he has even admitted that the funds were taken from (his) home equity line and transferred internally to (his) LLC account in the same bank,” which is inexplicably questionable all on its own.

Trump is devastated at Mueller’s witch hunt, and even after Trump expressed his desire to fire Mueller earlier this week, doing so would only spark more anger and would even look like an admission of guilt. 

Initially, tax breaks, stricter immigration laws to protect citizens’ safety and more employment all sounded like really fantastic promises made by Trump. But our president’s volatile behavior, coupled with this incessant need to be involved with potential criminal charges and hire those who are willing to cover for him, are reasons why people are liking him less. People are liking him less not because he set women back 50 years, or because he calls third world countries “sh-tholes” or because he has left behind all the blue collar workers who voted for him, but because our own president is starting to look like a criminal. 

As Trump stated in regard to the investigation, he believes that "It's an attack on our country in a true sense. It's an attack on what we all stand for.” I have to disagree. Considering that Mueller is also poking his head in Trump’s affairs to discover any possible collusions that Trump may have had with Russia, these investigations go to show that being president is no longer synonymous with being above the law. Being president does not excuse Trump of any potential wrongdoings, and Mueller makes that extremely clear. 

Politicians, artists, entertainers and millions of Americans are so focused on our president’s potential crimes and even the victim-blaming of women such as Jennie Willoughby and Colbie Holderness, who have voiced the abuse they suffered by their ex-husband, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who Trump has defended. We have witnessed our own president throw people like Cohen under the bus, because people like Cohen are expendable to Trump. It took a year, but everything Trump has done to maintain this facade of being president is finally melting away under Mueller’s watch. 

Ashley Wang is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in English and minoring in philosophy. Her column, "A Third Person Perspective," runs on alternate Mondays.


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Ashley Wang

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