Special Counsel Robert Mueller is perhaps the most feared person whom President Donald Trump wishes he could fire. But unlike the sacking of FBI Director James Comey, it would not be so easy to axe Mueller – both legally and politically. There was a reason why the position carries the “Special Counsel” title.
A special counsel “may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General”. But in the case of Mr. Mueller, he was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation. Therefore, only Mr. Rosenstein could fire Mr. Mueller.
That’s why Trump was so bloody mad with Mr. Sessions. Trump has zero control over Rosenstein. Even if the Deputy A.G. wanted to fire the special counsel he appointed, he can’t. Special Counsel Mueller can only be removed “for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.”
So far, Deputy A.G. Rosenstein has testified that while he alone exercises the firing authority, he had not seen any evidence of good cause for firing Mueller. In a way, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now more powerful than President Donald Trump. It must be really annoying to Trump, who used to fire whoever he likes in his TV show – The Apprentice.
In other words, Trump could not fire Mueller – a former FBI director – directly but the U.S. president certainly can fire Deputy A.G. Rosenstein. Trump could keep firing people until he found someone to follow through on an order to fire Mueller. Trump was fabulously angered that Mueller has expanded the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election to include whether Trump tried to obstruct justice.
Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, including his family’s finances and business deals. It was reported that the president had begun asking his advisers about his ability to pardon aides, associates, family members, and even himself. And the prospect of Trump abusing his power is real.
President Trump Pardons Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio
At a political rally last week, he publicly pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Heck, the president could even continuously issue pardons to anyone found guilty by Special Counsel Robert Mueller or the Supreme Court. And this could be the reason why Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is eagerly looking to shake hands and rub shoulders with President Trump.
Fears that Trump could pre-emptively protect allies from prosecution means his son-in-law Jared Kushner would be immune from prosecution of corruption. Eyebrows were raised when Trump agrees to meet Najib, whose 1MDB scandal – represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice – is in full swing.
It’s not every day that a U.S. president invites a foreign leader who has allegedly stolen more than US$4.5 billion, and worse, used the U.S. financial system to launder the dirty money. Najib, easily the planet’s biggest crook, had also allegedly involved in the gruesome murder of Mongolian model Altantuya, with whom the Malaysian Muslim leader allegedly had anal sex too.
Altantuya-Shaariibuu Murder - Najib Razak and Razak Baginda Inset
At the centre of the 1MDB scandal, which has been classified as a “Ponzi Scheme” by the Swiss Attorney General, is the sudden change of heart by Trump administration in extending an invitation to Najib to visit the White House. He was excluded about 4 months ago in May, 2017, during which only leaders of the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were invited.
But what does Najib’s corruption and money laundering got to do with Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation? Well, if Paul Manafort – Trump’s former campaign manager – could be dragged into the investigation due to his consulting work for the Russian oligarch and aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska and for the Ukrainian oligarch and steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov, Mr. Najib has his fair share of connection too.
Talking about one big family of crooks, Najib Razak’s in-law – notorious Maira Nazarbayev – who famously ordered a dozen of Hermes handbags worth US$401,912.50 (£264,564; RM1.72 million) from the Financial District business Samilor in 2014 and 2015 – but never paid – was married to fertilizer tycoon Bolat Nazarbayev, brother of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Daniyar Nazarbayev and Nooryana Najwa Wedding - Maira, Daniyar, Nooryana, Rosmah, Najib
President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in turns, has a fantastic relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Here’s the interesting part. RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin), one of Najib’s top mouthpieces, revealed that the prime minister’s “Boffin Boys” knew that Trump was going to win the U.S. presidency. How could that be possible, when polls said otherwise, unless Najib was involved?
Therefore, there’s a possibility that Najib regime could have had channelled financial assistance – secretly – on behalf of the Russian to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. It’s rather weird that Najib could easily accept Russia’s denial that they were not involved in the shooting down of MH17 by Russian-made BUK missiles, which killed 298 people, including 43 Malaysians.
Donald Trump’s eldest son Eric, together with son-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort was exposed of having a meeting with a group of Russians who might have information helpful to their campaign. The same Kushner could have been bribed – either in cash, donations or future projects – by lobbyists in Washington to grant an audience to Najib considering his “past services” to Trump’s campaign.
Najib Razak Corruption - Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump
Jared Kushner, who married Ivanka Trump in October 2009, secured a multimillion-dollar Manhattan real estate deal with a Soviet-born oligarch whose company was cited in a major New York money laundering case now being investigated by members of Congress. In May, his sister – Nicole Kushner Meyer – was exposed of pitching her family’s ties as part of a roadshow to raise money for a Jersey City building.
Hence, Mr. Kushner isn’t as clean as he looks. After all, his father – Charles Kushner – was convicted in 2005 of witness tampering, illegal campaign contributions and tax evasion. And now after released from prison, his father is back running the Kushner property empire along with 2 fellow inmates – Avram Lebor and Richard Goettlich – who scammed money using Ponzi scheme, similar to 1MDB.
After the coming visit to White House on September 12, Special Counsel Robert Mueller should take note whether President Trump gives hints – in whatsoever manner – on the scrapping of the U.S.-DOJ investigation into the US$4.5 billion 1MDB scandal. If it does, Trump and Kushner should be investigated for new charges of obstruction of justice and corruption.
1MDB Scandal - Jared Kusher, Najib Razak, Donald Trump, Robert Mueller
Wait a minute. But how could Mr. Mueller prosecute Mr. Kushner, considering that President Trump will definitely issue a pardon to his favourite daughter’s husband? Apparently, Mueller has a secret weapon. While the president’s pardon power is absolute, it only applies to federal crimes. In other words, state-level prosecutors could do the tricks.
On Thursday, it was reported that Mueller has teamed up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office. They have reportedly begun sharing evidence on financial crimes from their probes into the Trump’s family business transactions – including potential money laundering. Guess what, Najib’s money laundering activities mostly happened in the City of New York too.