Yesterday, court documents revealed that Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty and confessed to campaign collusion with the Russian government. The media then subsequently confirmed that the two redacted Trump campaign officials fingered by Papadopoulos were Paul Manafort and Sam Clovis. Now comes word of Clovis appearing before a Robert Mueller grand jury. There are only two possible explanations of what’s going on here – and they’re both terrible for Trump himself.
Sam Clovis testified before a Trump-Russia grand jury last week, according to a new NBC News report (link). Details are very scarce, but the most crucial detail is the timeframe. Clovis testified well after the Papadopoulos indictment and plea were signed off on. Moreover, Clovis was the campaign supervisor of Papadopoulos, and these kinds of charges flow upward, not downward. That means Clovis testifying in a different Trump-Russia criminal case, and higher stakes one.
The first possibility is that Sam Clovis was testifying in Trump-Russia criminal case against himself. In this scenario, the Papadopoulos confession would serve as evidence against Clovis, and Clovis would have been testifying in his own defense. If this is the case, it means Mueller is looking to indict Clovis so he can arrest him, and then force him to cut a deal. Clovis would have been the last witness in a case against himself, meaning that – assuming Mueller continues to succeed in getting the indictments he wants – Clovis could be arrested at any minute.
The second possibility is that Sam Clovis was testifying in a Trump-Russia case against someone further up the chain. If this is the case, it means Clovis has either formally cut a deal, or he’s informally been informed he won’t be charged if he cooperates with his testimony. Either way, it would mean Clovis has flipped. His testimony would most likely have been against his campaign supervisor, Jeff Sessions, or the other adviser involved in the Papadopoulos conspiracy, Paul Manafort. The bottom line is that the collusion-related charges are working their way closer to Donald Trump himself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report