Trump May Abscond to Avoid Arrest. Asylum in Russia?

President Donald Trump. Photo: White House
President Donald Trump. Photo: White House

Federal investigators working along with Special Counsel Robert Mueller framed the charges while probing Trump-Russia ties that may have helped Trump win the election fraudulently.

By Rakesh Raman

With the arrest of 2 former aides of U.S. President Donald Trump in the ongoing Russia probe, the noose seems to be tightening around Trump’s neck.

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates – who were holding senior positions in the Trump campaign for the 2016 presidential race that Trump won – were charged Monday with accusations of money laundering and conspiracy against the United States.

It was also announced Monday that George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign associate, pleaded guilty in early October for lying to the FBI about his role in the campaign that helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Federal investigators working along with Special Counsel Robert Mueller framed the charges while probing Trump-Russia ties that may have helped Trump win the election fraudulently.

Mueller and his team worked at a frenetic pace to bring about the first indictment from their 5-month-old investigation. Although Trump had indicated that he will fire Mueller to scuttle the investigation, after Monday’s indictment it is almost impossible for him to stop Mueller’s strides that appear to be coming toward Trump.

If Trump stops this investigation now, it will be construed as obstruction of justice which is a felony that may lead to Trump’s impeachment. Obviously, Trump is disturbed.

As Trump will be traveling in Asia during November 3-14, his disturbance will increase because Mueller’s probe has already reached the White House to question the staffers who will be free to cooperate with the probe team in the absence of Trump.

It is said that Mueller is following Trump’s money to know about his ties with Russia. Since Trump has refused to release his tax returns, it is believed that he is involved in the same financial crimes that Manafort has allegedly committed and for which he is facing up to 20-year prison sentence.

After proving that Trump had objectionable financial relations with Russia, it will be easier for Mueller to explore Trump’s collusion with Russia to attack American election.

In order to avoid this disturbing outcome, it is possible that Trump may try to abscond and take political asylum in Russia which – it is alleged – has been helping him in the past to attack American democratic and election systems.

As Trump can’t afford to displease Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, he has deliberately delayed sanctions on Russia that Congress had proposed for Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The deadline to impose the sanctions was October 1.

Trump knows that he will need Putin’s support to run away from possible impeachment which seems to be imminent with the arrest of his former campaign colleagues.

Manafort and Gates appeared in a federal courthouse in Washington and pleaded not guilty to the charges in a 12-count indictment. The judge ordered house arrest for them while the next hearing will take place on Thursday.

At this stage, the indictment does not mention Trump or his campaign. However, it covers the period up to 2017 when both Manafort and Gates were communicating with foreign agents, particularly from Russia. This period includes the Trump campaign months, although Trump maintains with an unfounded rhetoric that there was no collusion with Russia.

“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign,” Trump tweeted Monday, adding that the investigation’s focus should be on Hillary Clinton and Democrats.

For a change, Trump did not dismiss Monday’s indictment of his friends as “Fake News” that he has always called in the past to everything that is related to his possible ties with Russia.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist and social activist. He has formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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Rakesh Raman