This week’s criminal indictment and arrest of Roger Stone was about something far bigger than just Stone. The indictment omitted several of the alleged Stone crimes that Robert Mueller has been presenting to the grand jury, meaning that the case against Stone isn’t complete, and for now Mueller is simply looking to legally establish the criminal conspiracy that Stone participated in with WikiLeaks and the Donald Trump campaign.
Various political pundits were able to quickly figure out that Steve Bannon was the senior Trump campaign official who instructed Roger Stone to illegally conspire with WikiLeaks. But the indictment went further by specifying that Bannon himself was instructed to have Stone do this, and Palmer Report deduced that Bannon could only have taken this instruction from Donald Trump and/or a member of his family. It turns out a U.S. Senator agrees with us on this.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal appeared on CNN and said this: “In my view, and probably in Robert Mueller’s view, that person, directing the senior official, had to be Donald Trump, or possibly Donald Trump Jr.” And if it was Junior, then he almost certainly ran it past his father first. Blumenthal then added that Donald Trump “is one step, maybe just a baby step, away from criminal charges.”
He’s right. Robert Mueller decided to hurry up and indict Roger Stone this week for the sole purpose of using the indictment to nab one or more of the bigger fish he conspired with. The most likely target is Donald Trump himself. Pundits have long claimed that a sitting president can’t be indicted. But the leaders of the new Democratic House, including Nancy Pelosi, have made clear that they think otherwise – and we suspect they’re taking their cues from Mueller’s guidance.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report