View from the Left: Individual 1

Donald Trump has always wanted to be No. 1—in business, sexual prowess, politics, mental acuity, and overall fame—and now he is. Special counsel Robert Mueller personally dubbed Trump “Individual 1” in the charging documents he filed against Trump’s longtime lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen.

Trump averaged more than one mention per page in that 9-page document, snagging 12 mentions in all. It’s a stunning achievement for a sitting pr*sident but he didn’t seem all that thrilled with it. In fact, his legal team was reportedly informed about the Cohen plea, though not the specificities of the charge, Wednesday night. That’s what apparently led to Trump’s Thursday morning dose of rage tweets about Mueller’s “Ridiculous!” and “illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt” shattering “so many innocent lives.”

Trump also got a nice mention in the draft court filing that Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi leaked to several outlets early this week. The document stated that Stone, “who CORSI understood to be in regular contact with senior members of the Trump Campaign, including with then-candidate Donald J. Trump,” asked Corsi to contact WikiLeaks for information about any as-yet unreleased campaign materials presently in the organization’s possession. According to the draft plea, which Corsi declined to take this week, Corsi ultimately got back to Stone on August 2 to report: “Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.” Friend, in this case, refers to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who ultimately started dumping the Podesta emails in early October. Anyway, Trump didn’t seem to like getting a Mueller shout out in the Corsi document either. The Washington Post reported:

The inclusion of Trump by name infuriated Trump’s legal team, which obtained a copy of the draft the week before Thanksgiving. In response, the president’s attorneys delayed submitting his written answers to Mueller and formally complained to both the special counsel’s office and the Justice Department, according Giuliani.

Complaint noted. Trump’s name stayed apparently.

So Mueller’s 0 for 2 in the past couple weeks with Trump. That said, it’s been a pretty damn productive week for Mueller, even if it didn’t go exactly as planned. Really, who could’ve imagined that boy genius Corsi would widely distribute a document to news outlets that completely and totally incriminated him? That probably wasn’t a part of the Mueller plan. And even though some people have speculated that Mueller lured Paul Manafort into a trap—knowing he would breach his cooperation agreement with the special counsel by leaking intel to Trump’s lawyers—I would hazard to guess that Mueller originally hoped Manafort was forthright in his stated intent to cooperate, even as he and his team took a hope-but-verify approach. But whatever lemons Team Mueller was handed, they appear to have squeezed from them some pretty damn sweet lemonade.

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