Mama said knock you out


Another day, another big update in the Trump-Russia investigation! Special counsel Robert Mueller, who has been following the money this whole time, is now working directly with the IRS. Uh oh, 'sketti oh! In fact, according to the Daily Beast, he loves working with this particular division of the IRS, the Criminal Investigations unit, because its investigators are REALLY GOOD at shaking their abacuses around and saying "Ta-da! Here are the crimes!"

This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.

The Daily Beast notes that there's something about this news that goes without saying. What goes without saying, Daily Beast?

And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump’s tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public.

Dammit, Daily Beast, you weren't supposed to say it out loud!

Anyway, maybe we'll finally get to see the president's tax returns, just like we should have in the first place. They'll probably be just like any other president's tax returns, except for how Trump's probably include maps to exactly where the bodies are buried. And they might be covered in orange face powder. And maybe they show Trump isn't as rich as he says he is. And maybe there are really weird cash infusions from mysterious banks in Cyprus linked to state-owned banks in Russia, like maybe from 2015 and 2016. Just spitballing here!

The CI division reportedly has a crush on Robert Mueller and Andy Weissman, a member of Mueller's all-star team of Trump-vanquishing badasses who's worked for them before, and for Mueller and Weissman, the crush is mutual.

The Daily Beast explains why this might be very bad news for Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort (whom Mueller is trying to flip), just like all things are bad news for Paul Manafort these days:

Former federal prosecutors tell The Daily Beast one of Manafort’s biggest legal liabilities could be to what’s called a “check the box” prosecution. Federal law requires that people who have money in foreign bank accounts check a box on their tax returns disclosing that. And there’s speculation that Manafort may have neglected to check that box, which would be a felony. This is exactly the kind of allegation the IRS would look into.

So much uh-oh! Considering the sheer number of foreign payments Manafort has received over the past few years, we wouldn't be surprised if even he had no idea where all the bank accounts his (allegedly!) laundered paychecks have been going.

Another funny thing the Daily Beast points out is that, in order to prosecute any crimes these investigators find, they'll have to get sign-off from the tax division at the Justice Department. Guess which government position Donald Trump has forgotten to nominate a mouth-breathing Trump loyalist to oversee? Haha, that would be "MOST OF THEM KATIE," but for our purposes today, the answer is the tax division at the Justice Department. So if CI finds crimes, they will simply have to get the go-ahead from whichever Debbie Deep State runs the place.

In other Trump-Russia news, the Wall Street Journal reports that Trump's team of rent-a-lawyers has sent Mueller a bunch of memos about why the president DID NOT commit obstruction of justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey for the crime of doing the Russia investigation. Hadn't Trump been COMPLETELY CLEAR about how the Russia investigation is fake news, and hadn't he demanded loyalty from the FBI director? Anyway, their argument, distilled to its purest essence, is that Trump's firing of Comey wasn't obstruction of justice because if the president does it, it's not illegal, which really worked well for Nixon so heckuva job, rent-a-lawyers!

What a lovely day.

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[Daily Beast / Wall Street Journal]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.

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