This evening we’re learning that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is following the money when it comes to the late Peter Smith, a Republican operative who – by his own admission before taking his own life – was trying to act as a go between for the Donald Trump campaign and Russia. Smith apparently made a large cash withdrawal in that same timeframe, and it’s being reported that Mueller is attempting to determine whether Michael Flynn was working with him. Here’s the curious part: Mueller already knows the answer.
Here’s the eye popping passage from BuzzFeed, which broke the story tonight: “Mueller’s team has also tried to determine if Flynn assisted Smith in his operation, according to two FBI agents. They added that Smith’s suspicious financial transactions are key to that effort.” This makes no sense on its face. Michael Flynn cut a plea deal last year and immediately told Mueller everything he knew. Flynn hasn’t yet been sentenced because he’s still cooperating. If at any point Flynn refused to cooperate, Mueller would revoke the deal and throw him in jail.
In other words, Mueller already knows whether or not Flynn was working with Peter Smith, and so does the FBI. So why is the FBI even putting this out there? The only logical explanation is that the Feds are signaling to others involved with Smith that Flynn has given them up, and that it’s time for them to come in and cut plea deals of their own.
In any case, this is just the latest example of Robert Mueller and the Feds aggressively pushing forward with yet another aspect of the Trump-Russia scandal. And in this instance, there is clearly more to it than meets the eye.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report