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Okay after listening to all the various expert analysts in their respective fields, I am feeling like Mueller is going to be able to take this investigation to its full conclusion. Some of the analysts and journalists (including Rachel Maddow) are asking why now and why go after the Russians first instead of say the WikiLeaks hackers?
First, putting Rod Rosenstein up front as the spokesperson, takes much of the heat off Rosenstein himself to be fired or resign. This is not a Nunes type of sloppy memo...this is a highly researched professionally done indictment with all the i's dotted and the t's crossed. I expect that in the next several months when additional and the final indictments are read, Rosenstein will be there again and again at the front. Trump cannot fire him...he'll be bullet proof. That takes away one of my biggest worries that I have written about here...that Trump will be able to slow or stop the investigation by getting rid of Rosenstein. He would be crazy to do that now. The investigation has real legitimacy for all the doubters. Nothing fake about it.
Second, by going after the Russians now in a big way, while deliberately not going after the big fish in the Trump administration (at least not yet), it plays to our sense of patriotism. More of the Trump supporters will feel isolated if they start questioning the legitimacy of indicting Russians. Public opinion on the FBI will shift back to the FBI's favor. Who wants to defend the Russians? Let that narrative soak for a few weeks. It's a shrewd move by Mueller and Rosenstein.
Third, by saying that the indictment does not implicate anyone on Trump's team it gives some breathing room for Trump to relax. Trump and Fox News are playing up the 2014 start of the investigation and twisting Rosenstein's words to mean that Trump is vindicated. Not true. But it keeps the "collusion politics" off the front page a while longer. It's all about the Russians for now.
Next will probably be Manafort and those associated with him...Rick Gates and others, much of it perhaps unrelated to the previous Russian indictments.
Then I would expect the Russian hackers to be the subject of the next round of indictments, including the WikiLeaks collaborators. This could get into a Donald Trump Jr indictment, but Mueller may hold off on that big fish for a while yet.
Somewhat lost in the news is that Steve Bannon "told all" in 20 hours of testimony to Mueller. Rick Gates will collaborate much of what Bannon said, assuming he flips as expected. The noose tightens on Kushner in this round.
At some point later in the investigation, the meat of the investigation will come out...the money laundering and cover up. That's when the shoe drops on Trump. Ideally it will be right before the midterm elections to give everyone something to think about...all those Republicans running for office who have steadfastly supported Trump. Make it an election issue on impeachment.
This is getting to be fascinating to me now. Mueller is playing a game of chess. Mueller is the master and Trump's band of lawyers are just rooks and pawns in the game.
I feel good. Our democracy is working now.