One of the most serious revelations from Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury is rapidly turning into a key piece of evidence for Special Counsel Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation into the Trump White House. A New York Times report implicates White House Communications Director Hope Hicks in President Trump’s plan to cover up the secret meeting with a Russian-linked lawyer by burying the smoking gun e-mails written by his son.
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Donald Trump Jr. held a secret meeting with Russian agents because he was hoping they’d give his father’s campaign a treasure trove of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton. Michael Michael Wolff’s book says that legal spokesman Mark Corallo quit rather than participate in what he considered obstruction of justice after the Times reported on the campaign’s blatant attempt to collude with Russian agents.
Now, Corallo has agreed to voluntarily speak with the Special Counsel’s investigation. His testimony could prove that President Trump and Hope Hicks engaged in a scheme to obstruct Mueller by destroying embarrassing email evidence requested by investigators that would have revealed the true purpose of Don Jr.’s ill-advised meeting.
The Times reports:
Mr. Corallo is planning to tell Mr. Mueller about a previously undisclosed conference call with Mr. Trump and Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, according to the three people.
Mr. Corallo planned to tell investigators that Ms. Hicks said during the call that emails written by Donald Trump Jr. before the Trump Tower meeting — in which the younger Mr. Trump said he was eager to receive political dirt about Mrs. Clinton from the Russians — “will never get out.”
Mr. Corallo, who worked as a Justice Department spokesman during the George W. Bush administration, told colleagues he was alarmed not only by what Ms. Hicks had said — either she was being naïve or was suggesting that the emails could be withheld from investigators — but also that she had said it in front of the president without a lawyer on the phone and that the conversation could not be protected by attorney-client privilege.
The President’s statement for his son and the campaign’s Russian collusion meeting was astonishingly drafted entirely without the benefit of legal counsel.
Mark Corallo is a skilled professional and he warned Trump that his plans to hide key email evidence from investigators would backfire, because eventually, the documents could surface and the impact would be far worse. He quit just nine days after Don Jr. released the smoking gun emails.
Fire and Fury suggests that Corallo said that the White House’s situation got so bad, even he was instructed not to answer his phone after the Trump family’s failed attempts at spin.
Just like James Comey before him, Mark Corallo memorialized the entire situation in writing, and by telling three colleagues about the incident who spoke with the Times:
Mr. Corallo told colleagues that he immediately notified the legal team of the conversation and jotted down notes to memorialize it. He also shared his concerns with Stephen K. Bannon, then the president’s chief strategist.
Corallo knew that multiple people were involved in Don Jr.’s meeting and that all of them had incentive to turn over those emails if asked, rather than participate in an incriminating cover up.
It all went down in the DMs, according to the Atlantic, which unraveled the President’s plot to obstruct justice, but worse still, revealed that his son colluded with Russians on behalf of his campaign’s quest for Hillary’s emails:
“Hi Don. Sorry to hear about your problems. We have an idea that may help a little. We are VERY interested in confidentially obtaining and publishing a copy of the email(s) cited in the New York Times today. We think this is strongly in your interest. Us publishing not only deprives them of this ability but is beautifully confounding.”
The message was sent at 9:29 am on July 11. Trump Jr. did not respond, but just hours later, he posted the emails himself, on his own Twitter feed.
Tonight’s news about Mark Corallo’s impending testimony reveals that Trump’s White House was ready to do anything, including obstruct justice, in order to cover up the first bona fide evidence of Russian collusion with his campaign last summer.
Now, the President’s sloppy cover up is about to come crashing down because he chose to rely on a team of inexperienced, but deeply loyal young people, rather than the advice and professionalism of his legal team.
Hope Hicks is about to feel the long arm of the law because she didn’t know the difference between loyalty and criminal behavior in government office.