With the anticipation that led up to the first indictments in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation on Monday, you can only guess that a fair number of Americans headed to happy hours after work to celebrate the indictments of President Trump's former campaign manager and his associate. Well now, one Washingon, D.C. bar is trying to capitalize on the situation. The Bird is offering $5 "Moscow Muellers" every time a Trump associate is indicted by special prosecutor Mueller.
The name of the drink is a play on the Moscow Mule, a mixed drink with vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer, with Mueller's name providing a topical flourish. When or if another indictment comes down, you can head to this watering hole near Logan Circle.
Those watching Mueller's investigation closely had plenty to follow to on Monday. Mueller's team handed down indictments for Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, and Rick Gates, a business associate. The two have worked all around the world on election campaigns, particularly in Africa and Eastern Europe, as well as making deals with business tycoons in Russia, as reported by The New York Times.
That money then allegedly went into offshore accounts in places as far-flung as Cyprus, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Seychelles according to the indictment documents. Manafort is accused of laundering more than $18 million to buy properties and services, and Gates of wiring $3 million from illegal offshore accounts. A total of more than $75 million "flowed through the offshore accounts," according to the indictment. Lawyers for Manafort argued he'd done nothing wrong and called the case against him "embellished." Gates told The New York Times in June that his work with Manafort was "done legally and with the approval of our lawyers." Glenn Selig, a spokesman for Gates, told Fox News this week that Gates "welcomes the opportunity to confront these charges in court."
They both face 12 counts, including conspiring against the United States. Both Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty.
If many headed to the bar to celebrate in reaction to the news, President Trump more just shrugged it off. Trump had been trying to deflect the Mueller investigation before the indictments by trying to suggest he investigate Clinton and the Democrats for funding opposition research (which is not a crime). He continued this after the indictment came down.
"Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary [and] the Dems the focus?????" Trump tweeted on Monday followed by, "Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"
A bigger problem than Manafort and Gates for the Trump administration could actually be George Papadopoulos, a former campaign staffer who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. He was working under Sam Clovis (who was just withdrawn from consideration for agriculture secretary) on the campaign. Papadopoulos decided to try and set up many meetings with Russia, including one he thought was with Vladimir Putin's niece, and he pushed for the campaign to consider meetings on future U.S. ties to Russia.
Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat on the Senate agriculture committee, claimed that Clovis being withdrawn is actually a big sign. “His nomination was withdrawn because we learned on Monday that last year Mr. Clovis, while serving as the co-chairman for the national Trump campaign, gave the green light to George Papadopolous’ attempts to collude with Russian operatives and obtain stolen emails from the Clinton campaign." He also argued that Clovis wouldn't want to be under oath for questioning. Clovis has tried to distance himself from Papadopoulous and explained any approval of contacts with Russia as a polite expression of "courtesy and appreciation" to a campaign volunteer (Papadopoulous).
Trump may not be happy with Mueller, but his aides have dismissed rumors that the president will fire him. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told ABC News that Trump wouldn't try to fire Mueller. "You could only terminate a special counsel for cause, and we just don't see any basis for cause," he said.
Ironically, that also could have resulted in cheap drinks for D.C. drinkers. The same bar that has the Moscow Muellers special also offers $4 happy hour drinks anytime Trump fires White House officials. Mueller wouldn't technically count — he works for the DOJ — but it might not be a stretch to say that the bar would recognize the occasion.