Just a few days after returning a defective Paul Manafort for a refund, Special Counsel Robert Mueller teamed up with Michael Cohen to rip a gaping hole through all things Donald Trump. If those mixed metaphors don’t quite make sense, forgive me, it’s been a remarkably long workday. As this historically strange day in American political history nears its end, here’s the crazy part.
Everything that Robert Mueller did today came, best anyone can tell, solely from Michael Cohen. In case you’ve forgotten, Mueller and the SDNY consider Cohen to be enough of a non-priority, they initially wouldn’t even give him a cooperation deal when he first decided to plead guilty a few months ago. Yet Mueller pulled off today’s maneuvers just by using Cohen, who’s apparently not his most valued cooperator.
We still haven’t seen Robert Mueller publicly bust out anything from the cooperating plea deal he cut with Michael Flynn about a year ago. Mueller clearly thought Flynn was more valuable than Cohen, because Flynn got the cushy cooperating deal right out of the gate, and Cohen had to bend over backward to eventually get his. If Flynn weren’t providing anything useful, Mueller would have Manaforted him to prison a long time ago. So we know Flynn gave up a lot, and Mueller still has all of it up his sleeve, because the time hasn’t yet been quite right to play the Flynn card. He’s far from the only one.
Remember when Steve Bannon, Don McGahn, Sean Spicer, Hope Hicks, Reince Priebus and others all went and gave Robert Mueller hours and hours of reportedly cooperative testimony? Mueller hasn’t busted out any of that publicly, either. This guy Mueller showed us, like, one card out of his entire deck today – and it was still a wrecking ball. Just wait til he turns over a few more cards, perhaps tomorrow or the next day.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report