On Tuesday, former Donald Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates signaled that he was negotiating a plea deal to flip on his associate Paul Manafort, which would in turn force Manafort to flip on Trump. This development may prove crucial, because even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller aggressively pursues Trump for obstruction of justice, Gates and Manafort can prove Trump guilty on Russian money laundering as well. In a bizarre development, Gates’s spokesman was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Glenn Selig had been handling public relations for Rick Gates, who was arrested in late 2017 on charges including money laundering and conspiracy against the United States. Selig died when the Afghanistan hotel he was staying in was attacked by the Taliban, according to a new Politico report (link). In terms of getting a plea deal done, this probably doesn’t change anything; if Gates’ negotiating attorney had died, it might have been a different matter. However, this is likely to change one thing about the Trump-Russia scandal.
Now that Donald Trump is on the ropes and Mueller is moving in, he and his remaining allies are relying on increasingly absurd phony conspiracy theories as a distraction. They’re now desperate enough to float everything from missing text messages between lovers, to Hillary Clinton somehow having bought off the FBI. It’s all baseless nonsense, of course, but it’s all they have left.
Now that Rick Gates is preparing to cut a plea deal that would be devastating for Donald Trump, his spokesman just happened to get killed by terrorists. You can bet that Trump’s allies will try to spin this as yet another conspiracy theory. Perhaps Hillary Clinton is now, in their minds, running the Taliban. We’re not making light of this. We’re just pointing out that Trump and his people are now willing to latch onto any fictional conspiracy theory they can invent. They’ll try to use the death of Selig as well.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report