Special Counsel Robert Mueller is smart and diligent, and he’s moving more quickly with his investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal than most legal experts predicted was possible with this complex of a case. But everyone needs a lucky break now and then, particularly when they’re trying to take down an illegitimate sitting President of the United States for a vast array of hidden crimes. Today, as it turns out, is Mueller’s lucky day.
Mueller has been holding most of the cards all along. He has a metric ton of evidence. He has several cooperating witnesses, some of whom used to be deep inside Trump’s political team. Also working on his side is the fact that Trump is obviously and profoundly guilty, which tends to make it easier to prove that someone is guilty. The one thing Mueller has needed more of all along: time.
When investigating a multi-level criminal conspiracy this vast, it takes time to work through the investigative and prosecutorial process of reaching the kingpin. There have been periods in which Trump has focused squarely on Mueller, and in those instances there have been concerns about whether Mueller might have enough time to complete the job. But when Trump decided to put his focus on the Devin Nunes memo in the hope of being able to get rid of Rod Rosenstein, things took a decided turn in Mueller’s favor. Today they got even better.
The minute we learned that Nunes was behind the memo, we knew it would be unlikely to achieve its goal. Why? Nunes is the kind of bumbling buffoon who screws up everything he touches. Trump would have needed a competent villain like Trey Gowdy to have had any chance of pulling this off, yet Gowdy is now running away from Trump as quickly as he can. Even better for Mueller, now that the memo gambit has failed, Trump is still obsessed with it, based on his tweets today. The longer Trump focuses on his failed memo, the more it allows Mueller to keep plugging away in the background. This is Mueller’s lucky day.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report