It’s not a surprise that Jack Smith has a cooperating witness inside Mar-a-Lago. It would be a surprise if he didn’t. He’s reportedly subpoenaed nearly everyone who works there. How many waiters or gardeners are really willing to go to prison for obstruction of justice just to help Trump? Smith likely has several inside witnesses at Mar-a-Lago by now. What is newsworthy is that we’re learning about this, because such things are kept super quiet, until we get to the end of the process.
The New York Times now knows that Jack Smith has inside help at Mar-a-Lago – something it would be almost impossible for the New York Times to know unless it came from Smith’s team. Smith appears to be putting it out there that he has an anonymous inside witness, in order to scare certain other Mar-a-Lago employees into also cooperating.
The intriguing part is that right after the New York Times article reveals that Smith has inside help, the article then states that Smith believes one specific Mar-a-Lago witness named Walt Nauta is being dishonest in his testimony. It feels like prosecutors are letting Nauta know that they have other Mar-a-Lago witnesses who can nail him for perjury, in an effort to motivate him to come clean.
So why not just call up Nauta and tell him that they have him nailed? Why put it in the news? This approach lets every Mar-a-Lago witness know that if they also “forgot” to say something important in their testimony, now is the time to get back in there and fully cooperate, while they still can.
In other words, this feels like the kind of “all call” you issue when you’re about to start indicting everyone, and you want to give holdouts one last chance to immediately come in and cooperate so they don’t get indicted.
This doesn’t mean Jack Smith is issuing indictments tomorrow. But it does suggest we’re close enough that this is the very last chance for people to amend their testimony before indictments drop – which would mean we’re not far off at all.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report