As we’ve seen time and again in the Trump-Russia investigation, getting suspects to cut a plea deal is not so much about being able to immediately prove their underlying alleged crimes, but rather merely being able to prove that they committed a crime in response to the investigation. Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos lied to the FBI. Rick Gates lied during his interview. They all ended up cutting deals. That brings us to today’s new development in the saga of Robert Mueller and Donald Trump’s associate Erik Prince.
Yesterday it was revealed that Mueller has been investigating Erik Prince’s transition period meeting with the Russians in the Seychelles. If Prince used that meeting to try to negotiate with the Russians behind the back of the Obama administration, that would be a felony. Mueller has the cooperation of George Nader, who set up the meeting, meaning that he probably has a very strong hand against Prince. But now it turns out Mueller has an ace card.
Erik Prince testified before the Trump-controlled House Intel Committee months ago. As we’ve previously spelled out, that committee is a farce, and Trump-Russia suspects only testify before it in the hope of getting themselves off the hook. But now it turns out Prince apparently lied to the committee while under oath, according to CNN (link). The Republicans on the committee will never prosecute Prince for this. But Mueller can prosecute Prince for this, and based on his track record, he will.
So if the CNN report is accurate, it means Robert Mueller has Erik Prince nailed on cut-and-dry perjury charges, which has consistently been the easiest way to flip Trump-Russia suspects. Look for Prince to cut a deal on the perjury charges in order to avoid having to answer for charges like Conspiracy Against the United States. If and when that happens, look for his sister Betsy DeVos to resign from Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report