If Donald Trump was thinking that his Thanksgiving holiday weekend couldn’t get any worse after Michael Flynn revealed he’s cutting a Trump-Russia deal, things have indeed found a way to get even worse. An infamous Russian hacker, believed to be near the center of the Trump-Russia election hacking scandal, is being extradited to the United States so that the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller can have their way with him.
The Czech Republic has ruled that Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin will be extradited to the United States, and not returned to Russia, according to a new report from Radio Free Europe (link). Nikulin’s attorney has revealed that the FBI believes Nikulin was involved in Trump-Russia election hacking. Mueller has jurisdiction over the FBI in all matters relating to the Trump-Russia scandal, which means that Nikulin is now all his.
So now, even as Robert Mueller is gaining Michael Flynn as a cooperating witness with valuable information about the Trump campaign’s sign of Trump-Russia collusion, he’s also gaining a hacker with insider information on the Russian side of the collusion. There is no guarantee that Nikulin will cut a deal once he arrives in the United States. But assuming he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life rotting in an American prison, it’s likely that he’ll work something out with Mueller and spill his guts.
To give you an idea of how much value the United States government places on the cooperation of Yevgeny Nikulin, it had him arrested on an Interpol warrant more than a year ago – before election day – and has been trying to get him extradited ever since. The timing of this extradition ruling appears to be coincidental to Michael Flynn’s decision to cut a deal. It simply means that Donald Trump’s luck – and his future prospects – are growing dimmer by the hour.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report