Yeomans: Trump, Russia and Hurdles Ahead

Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2018 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Goldfarb Fellow for Justice Bill Yeomans writes that as the Russia probe continues, “Trump and his TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have intensified their public relations campaign to undermine the investigation.  They appear to be preparing for indictments of Trump associates and family, and the possible impeachment of Trump.”

But Yeomans notes that although Robert Mueller’s investigation has already produced some indictments, there are a few obstacles in the way of  any effort “to bring Trump and friends to justice.” Specifically, there is Trump’s option to make liberal use of pardons.  His pardon of Dinesh D’Souza sends a clear message to friends and associates, says Yeomans: “It tells Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, Don Jr., Jared Kushner, and others who may be indicted that they can resist Mueller, including making false statements, and expect a full pardon in the end.”

Not only that, but Trump may find a way to prevent Mueller’s final report from reaching Congress. He may finally decide to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and replace him with a loyalist who will scuttle the Russia probe. And Mueller’s investigation, while it is likely to go on past the midterm elections, may need to go quiet around election time to avoid public steps that could be expected to affect the outcome of an election.

As for the Russia probe’s progress toward any conclusion about the Trump campaign and alleged ties to Russia, Yeomans is restrained. “The best guess is that Mueller has come a long way,” he writes, “but he still has significant hurdles to surmount.”

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 laurie@afj.org or 202-464-7367.