Today we saw evidence that even without Robert Mueller, his grand jury is being kept intact for the purpose of bringing additional criminal indictments involving Roger Stone. This comes a week after we learned that Mueller’s grand jury is still seeking indictments related to the financial records being subpoenaed from the foreign government owned mystery company. But these aren’t the indictments that should scare Donald Trump.
Yes, it’s bad news for Donald Trump that Mueller’s probe is still on track to bring federal criminal indictments against Trump’s old friend Stone, and against whichever unnamed Trump associate is being targeted in the subpoena battle. Remember when William Barr tried to convince us that no more Mueller-related indictments were coming, by using tricky wording about no more indictments coming directly from Mueller? That turns out to have been a bunch of crap. But additional and escalating federal indictments aren’t Trump’s biggest problem here.
The indictment that Donald Trump should be sweating the most is the one that was already delivered against Paul Manafort – not by Mueller, but by the District Attorney in Manhattan. A few minutes after the federal case against Manafort wrapped up, the DA brought those state level charges. You can’t time a grand jury indictment that precisely, so this means the indictment happened beforehand, and had been under seal the entire time.
Does anyone really believe that the Manhattan DA went to the trouble to obtain a sealed indictment against an already-doomed relative peon like Paul Manafort, but didn’t bother to obtain sealed indictments against bigger players in Donald Trump’s scandals? The state-level Manafort indictment makes clear that more such indictments are either already coming, or are already under seal. Everyone in Trump’s orbit, who lives in New York and committed any crime, should be sweating right now. That means Trump himself should be sweating most of all.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report