Washington, D.C., January 9 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, “Looking Forward, 2018,” AFJ’s Ronald Goldfarb Fellow for Justice, Bill Yeomans, warns that while 2017 was “chaotic, frightening, historic, and lighting-paced, it was only an appetizer for 2018.”
From the Russia investigation, we should expect indictments and further guilty pleas early this year, says Yeomans. “Despite [President Donald] Trump’s repeated tweets to the contrary, his campaign’s collusion with the Russian government to promote his candidacy and disparage Hillary Clinton’s is a matter of public record that we can be fairly certain is supported by a substantial confidential record,” writes Yeomans. “Regarding money laundering and other financial crimes, there is a clear pattern and motive. [Donald] Trump Jr. famously said a decade ago that a substantial portion of the Trump business’s money came from Russia.” Yeomans points out that reports that [Robert] Mueller has tellingly “hired prosecutors experienced in financial crimes and reports suggest that his team has subpoenaed information from international banking institutions.”
“The publicly-known evidence that Trump and others obstructed justice is powerful and growing,” writes Yeomans. So who can we expect to be indicted? “Most likely, not Trump,” says Yeomans. “The ultimate decision rests with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has the authority to disapprove Mueller’s recommendations. Rosenstein, doubtless, will feel bound by the legal opinions of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, which preclude indictment of a sitting president,” which “leaves Trump Jr. and [Jared] Kushner as the next obvious candidates.”
As the investigation nears its most critical phase, Mueller will want to interview Trump, writes Yeomans. “While there may be some haggling over the time, place, and length of the interview, if the grand jury issues a subpoena, Trump will have to submit or assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Given his past rejection of sound legal advice and the political consequences of taking the Fifth, odds are he will talk eventually.”
Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. Contact Laurie Kinney, Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-464-7367.