The IRS has begun sharing information with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative committee, turning up the heat on former high-ranking Trump campaign associates.

 

Background:

In 2016, Trump supporters said they voted against Hillary Clinton to avoid electing a president under federal investigation.

Instead, they voted Trump — a renowned conman with a proven track record of dishonesty — and we’re stuck with a president under federal investigation.

From the start, Trump has loudly criticized the special counsel’s investigation, calling it “the single greatest witch hunt in American political history” in a June 2017 tweet.

Recently, Congress moved to pass bipartisan legislation implementing a judicial review process after a counsel’s firing to determine reasonable cause.

“I have strenuous concern about President Trump’s respect for the rule of law,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement earlier this month. “Congress will not stand idly by if he attempts to undermine independent criminal investigations.”

Additionally, a bill co-authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) would require the U.S. Attorney General to petition a federal judiciary panel before removing a special counsel.

“There's a sense the threats have abated somewhat more recently, but we're continuing to talk to each other about how we bring the bills together,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told Politico. “I think we will eventually combine our bills and they'll be ready to go if these threats continue or increase.”

As the Russian collusion investigations continue to escalate, Trump’s hands are tied. Though Republican lawmakers have warned the implications of firing Mueller, Blumenthal is nearly certain that the investigation will lead to criminal indictment.

“I'm about 99 percent sure there will be some criminal charges from this investigation,” he said.

 

What’s Happening Now:

Mueller’s team was just handed a massive gift: the IRS is cooperating.

The agency provided a substantial number of sensitive documents to the special counsel Tuesday, according to CNN.

File contents contain information pertaining to Michael Flynn — Trump’s former security advisor and poster child of the Russian meddling investigation — and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman whose house was raided by the FBI this July.

The documents provided include tax return-related documents, such as real estate and banking records, The Hill reported Tuesday.

Some of these documents are copies of those obtained by the FBI during the Manafort raid. The IRS did not participate in the raid, as they did not want it to interfere with their own investigation of Manafort, sources told CNN.

Trump alluded to the ongoing investigation on Twitter Wednesday morning, but did not directly reference the recent developments.

According to CNN, Mueller’s counsel is planning to begin interviewing White House staffers within the week. It remains to be seen what they’ll uncover, but if Blumenthal’s prediction comes true, Trump could end up facing a trial by jury.

 

H/T: The Hill