Thus far we’ve seen Special Counsel Robert Mueller focus on certain individuals in the Trump-Russia scandal in a manner that’s spilled over into clear public view: Paul Manafort. Rick Gates. George Papadopoulos. Michael Flynn. We’ve also long been seeing scattered media reports that he’s focusing on various other players. But now suddenly just about everyone has officially been dragged into the scandal, thanks to a flurry of grand jury subpoenas.
Multiple media outlets including Axios and NBC News have obtained copies of a grand jury subpoena that was recently sent to an unnamed witness in the Trump-Russia scandal. That subpoena demands access to all conversations between that witness and a whole lot of key players in the scandal. Is Mueller targeting these people because they’re criminal suspects, or because they’re uncooperative witnesses? That remains to be seen. But everyone on the list should have trouble sleeping tonight, and for that matter, so should everyone else involved with the scandal.
The list itself is remarkable: Steve Bannon. Michael Cohen. Rick Gates. Hope Hicks. Corey Lewandowski. Paul Manafort. Carter Page. Keith Schiller. Roger Stone. And some guy named Donald Trump. Imagine learning that Mueller is so focused on your role in the Trump-Russia scandal, that he’s subpoenaing other people simply because you talked to them. If it seems like a handful of key names are missing from the list, there may be a good reason for that. There is also the question of who leaked this list right now and why.
Robert Mueller is currently carrying out grand juries in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Washington DC District. So if you’re wondering why Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Felix Sater, and a few other key names aren’t on the list, it’s entirely possible that it’s simply because this particular subpoena was issued in one district and not the other. But since Mueller is clearly dragging just about every big name into the scandal, it’s possible the others are simply being targeted in the other district. Also, who leaked this? The recipient? Or did Mueller himself leak it to make these people all panic?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report