Robert Mueller’s past ten days of overwhelming success are a reminder that, yes, he and his team really were aggressively working on a master plan behind the scenes during all those months where little appeared to be happening on the surface. Now that his plan is fully in motion, nineteen people have been indicted and/or arrested in the Trump-Russia scandal. So who’s next? Mueller himself just provided a few hints about that.
As a general rule, in these kinds of cases, you can always start by looking at who has just been busted, and which bigger fish that person is best in position to take down. For instance, even if Mueller hadn’t arrested Rick Gates and Paul Manafort on the same day, it still would have been fairly obvious that Mueller was using Gates to try to break Manafort. But we may not have to limit ourselves to generalities here. Mueller has dropped some specific hints in the past few days that have been blatant enough, it’s fair to assume that he’s dropped them on purpose.
For instance, Mueller chose to have Gates plead guilty to having lied about a meeting between Manafort, Russia, and Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. This means something important. Mueller made a point of putting Rohrabacher’s name out there. Is he signaling to Rohrabacher that he needs to cut a deal because he’s next? Will he arrest the compromised but probably fairly useless Rohrabacher to send a signal to other more valuable Trump-Russia compromised GOP Congressmen like Devin Nunes that they need to cut a deal, because Congressmen are fair game now?
Robert Mueller also dropped a big hint today when he slapped Manafort with obstruction of justice charges. This means it’s now open season for obstruction charges against Donald Trump’s advisers. We know Mueller is close to making his move on Trump for obstruction. Does this mean he’s going to arrest people like Hope Hicks or Reince Priebus, just to pick some names, in order to try to flip them on Trump? We’re about to find out.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report