If Donald Trump were an athlete, he’d be the guy who talks trash about other teams while he’s losing to the team he’s currently playing against. He keeps ranting about everyone and everything in the Trump-Russia investigation except for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, even as Mueller keeps silently racking up score after big score against Trump. Today, Mueller scored several major victories in the Trump-Russia scandal.
Mueller’s most straightforward victory today was that he finally and officially succeeded in his months long quest to get former Trump campaign vice chairman Rick Gates to cut a plea deal. This in itself is a victory, because it means Gates is being brought to justice for his crimes, which is how the legal system is supposed to work. But that’s just the beginning of what all Mueller managed to pull off today.
Mueller dropped a whole boatload of new criminal charges on the head of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and those charges appear to be largely based on the evidence that Gates turned over about Manafort. This means the Gates deal is already paying immediate dividends. Mueller’s goal is to pressure Manafort into flipping on Trump, as we all suspect that Manafort has compelling evidence against Trump on a variety of crimes spanning years if not decades. But there’s more.
Robert Mueller made a point of having Rick Gates plead guilty to lying specifically about a meeting between Manafort, Russia, and Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. This now opens the door for Mueller to take down any and all Congressmen who committed crimes in the Trump-Russia scandal and coverup. Mueller also had Gates plead guilty to Conspiracy against the United States, thus legally establishing that Trump-Russia was a criminal plot against the U.S. Mueller also brought obstruction of justice charges against Manafort, opening the door for numerous Trump advisers to face the same charges. Mueller keeps winning. Trump keeps whining.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report