Last month, the media tripped over itself to report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was going to submit his final report within a week, and that this meant he was “winding down” his investigation. Palmer Report pointed out that even if the report was true, nothing was “winding down” at all, and the submission of the report would mean that Mueller was about to crank his amps up to eleven. Of course the whole thing turned out to have been some kind of phony story planted by Team Trump, in the hope of putting pressure on Mueller. It didn’t work.
Now suddenly the story is that Robert Mueller’s right hand man Andrew Weissmann is about to leave Team Mueller in favor of a job in the education field. It sounds like the kind of story that Team Trump would plant, in order to get the media to once again start chirping that Mueller is “winding down,” as if his investigation were a late night party where most people had already gone home because nothing else was going to happen. But Mueller’s spokesman has confirmed that it’s true. As it turns out, this is a big deal – just not in the way that most of the media is spinning it.
Andrew Weissmann led the way in putting Paul Manafort behind bars. Outside observers were all expecting him to do the same with the Roger Stone trial. That’s not set to take place for another half a year, but there will be frequent court hearings leading up to it, and Weissmann isn’t sticking around for it. It’s difficult to imagine Weissman putting all this work into building a case against Stone, only to not stick around and ensure he’s finished off – unless Mueller does indeed plan to call it a day fairly soon, in which case the Stone case would be handed off to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Washington DC anyway.
Robert Mueller has an all star team, and there highly competent prosecutors on board beyond Weissmann. But to see him walk away now? It tells us that Mueller really is gearing up to issue his report soon. And as we’ve explained all along, Mueller isn’t simply going to turn in a report and then go fishing. The really big fireworks, whether they be the arrest of Trump’s kids, or the indictment of Trump, or all of the above, will coincide with his report.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report