In the hours since the news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed criminal charges in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, we’ve all been asking the same question: which one of Trump’s associates is about to get arrested? Now it turns out we’ve been framing the question in too small of a fashion. Based on a key newly reported detail, we need to start asking that question in the plural – because this is playing out simultaneously across multiple grand juries.
Yesterday, former CIA Director James Woolsey confirmed that he’s been cooperating with Mueller, with regard to the kidnapping plot he witnessed between former Trump adviser Michael Flynn and representatives of the government of Turkey. With Woolsey having flipped on Flynn, it means Mueller has an eyewitness in his pocket, and an indictment against Flynn is a given. Here’s the kicker: the Flynn grand jury is in the Eastern District Court of Virginia. Yet CNN is now reporting that last night’s charges were approved by a grand jury in Washington DC.
This means multiple federal grand juries are in play in multiple districts as we speak. Each grand jury is likely targeted at a different individual or individuals. So let’s say that Mueller is indeed filing charges in Virginia against Michael Flynn. That would mean that he’s also filing charges in Washington DC against someone else. Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has residences in Virginia and New York, so depending on venue, the Washington DC grand jury may not be him either.
It now appears that Robert Mueller has brought or is about to bring charges against multiple key Trump-Russia figures in either rapid or simultaneous manner. Considering the circumstances, this makes logical sense. If Mueller only initially arrests one of Trump’s associates, it’ll give Trump a moment to plot his inevitable countermove. But if Mueller makes multiple arrests, it’s suddenly such a chaotic scandal that it may be realistically too late for Trump to make an effective countermove.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report