Several days ago, Donald Trump tweeted his opinion that Robert Mueller should not testify before the House Judiciary Committee. This tweet carried zero weight, but it was nonetheless clear that Trump was at least wishing Mueller wouldn’t testify. Then yesterday, Trump said that he would simply leave it up to Attorney General William Barr to decide whether or not Mueller can testify. As we’ve explained, Barr has no ability to stop Mueller at all, so this means Trump caved. Now he’s caving again, on another matter he’d only recently been adamant about.
Last night the New York Times revealed that Donald Trump “has asked some confidants why they should not just reveal everything in the 448-page Mueller report.” Wait a minute here. Five minutes ago, Trump’s strategy was 100% based on fighting to keep the redacted (read: damning) portions of the Mueller report locked down no matter what. Trump just had his Attorney General William Barr commit a felony, which could eventually land Barr in prison, in the name of keeping the full Mueller report a secret. Yet now Trump wants to just release the whole thing?
We don’t think this will go anywhere, if only because too many of Donald Trump’s own people are now too far down the road of criminal contempt in the name of suppressing the full Mueller report, so they’re going to find a way to talk Trump out of releasing it. But this is yet another example of Trump putting his chips down on a defiant stance, only to cave (or consider caving) just days later.
Considering Donald Trump’s severe and worsening mental problems, it’s entirely possible that he’s now convinced himself that the redacted portion of the Mueller report makes him look good, even though his own people have no doubt been telling him all along that it’s ugly enough to destroy him. Whatever the reason, despite his bluster, Trump is in full-on “cave” mode. We’ll see if it lasts.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report