Robert Mueller’s weird new April Fools Day extension sets off all the alarms

Special Counsel Robert Mueller never speaks directly about his Trump-Russia investigation, leaving us all to study his court filings to try to figure out what he’s up to. Sometimes he’ll embed something into the footnote of a filing as a way of making the information public. Other times he’ll seemingly leave a few words strategically un-redacted, as if he were dropping a clue. This time around, Mueller is raising eyebrows with a certain number he just invoked: eleven.

Robert Mueller just asked a judge for an oddly specific eleven day extension on a filing deadline. The filing in question involves a newspaper’s request to unseal certain documents. It’s the kind of thing that Mueller probably doesn’t consider a priority, even if the media does. But we’re not aware of him having previously tried to blow off these kinds of matters. More importantly, who asks for eleven days? And why is his new target April Fools Day?

Some observers are asking if this is a sign that Robert Mueller’s team is shorthanded, which is possible. Andrew Weissmann is reportedly leaving the team. But it could just as easily be a sign that Mueller has something big coming up between now and April 1st, and it’s either getting in the way of being able to deal with something like this filing, or the filing itself would reveal something that shouldn’t be out there before April 1st.

Feel free to make whatever you want of this. But the reality is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller just asked for an eleven day extension so he could make a filing on April Fools Day, and if that doesn’t sum up just how surreal this has all become, nothing does.