Investors need to be aware that big political news may be released any minute. That may not sound like much of a statement these days, but Bloomberg is reporting that Robert Mueller may release the findings from his investigations very soon. Bloomberg says Mueller is under immense pressure to release the findings of his probe or cease his investigation. He is especially under pressure to release whether he has found evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia and whether the president did anything to obstruct justice.
FINSUM: It seems likely that these findings won’t be released until after the midterms, but you never know if a politically-motivated early release right before the election might occur.
Interesting news out of the media-shy Mueller investigation today. Two prosecutors on Mueller’s team are leaving or have already left the probe. The departures come following the prosecution of Paul Manafort. The news comes after an announcement in August that two other prosecutors had already left the probe. The newest departures mean there are 13 members remaining on Mueller’s team. James Comey comments that the investigation may be in its “fourth quarter” following the Manafort plea.
FINSUM: It looks like the Mueller investigation is either winding down or falling apart. Either way it seems likely it may finally conclude.
The special counsel investigation that started as an investigation into the Trump administration’s connections to Russia, but has blossomed into an all-encompassing dragnet, has been quite quiet of late. However, the FT reported today that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has been cooperating with Mueller and his team, particularly on the topic of Russian interference. According to Cohen’s lawyer, his client has provided “critical information” to the special counsel regarding Russia.
FINSUM: It is hard to know how whether the information he passed along was valuable, but it could be a hint that there is another bombshell about to hit headlines.
Yesterday was a rough one for the President. Michael Cohen’s guilty plea, and testimony that he was order to pay two women by Trump using campaign finances caused yet another firestorm for the White House. Trump responded strongly, admitting that he knew of the payments, but denying that they came out of campaign finances, saying he paid for them personally. Lawyers say it will be hard to use Cohen’s testimony to bring charges against Trump. However, Cohen’s lawyer says that his client can also testify that Trump was aware of Russian efforts to interfere with the election before such information was ever reported publicly.
FINSUM: We do not think the campaign finance situation will imperil Trump, but that last statement about Russia is a real x factor which could cause serious trouble.
The White House has been demanding that special counsel Robert Mueller wrap up his investigation into potential collusion with Russia by September 1st. However, the reality is that Mueller is under no obligation to do so and can continue his closed-door investigation up and through the November 6th elections. Bringing indictments near the election would also not violate Justice Department policy meant to deter using indictments to manipulate elections, according to current and former US officials.
FINSUM: We highly doubt Mueller will acquiesce to ending his investigation in the near-term, which means Trump may escalate the situation. Fireworks seem likely.