On Wednesday evening we all learned that Special Counsel Jack Smith has had a recording of Donald Trump discussing a classified U.S. intel document about Iran with people who didn’t have clearance, and that Smith has used this smoking gun to build his case against Trump. This is huge, but it’s old news; we just happen to be learning about it now.
Yesterday morning I pointed out that everything we’ve sene reported lately about the classified documents case has been months-old stuff that’s just now becoming public. In other words, the probe is basically done, the indictment is just about ready to drop, and things are leaking out because it’s the last chance for them to come out.
But now we’re getting some “new” news about the classified documents probe. Well, it’s sort of “new” in the sense that it’s only two weeks old, as opposed to the usual several months old. The New York Times is now reporting that two weeks ago, Jack Smith had Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago tech support guy testify to the grand jury. Interestingly, this testimony wasn’t directly about Trump himself. It was about potential obstruction charges against two Trump aides who allegedly tried to keep the Feds from obtaining Mar-a-Lago security footage.
The usual rules apply to this story. This happened two weeks ago, so why is the media suddenly getting ahold of it now? Very few people would have known about this testimony, yet one of them had to have given it to the media, and for a specific reason. The IT guy, who appears to be fully cooperating, would have no reason to give this to the media. Instead it feels like Jack Smith has strategically given this information to the media in order to let the two aides know that they’ve been nailed, and to give them the last minute opportunity to come clean and flip on Trump before they get indicted alongside him.
The tricky part is that it’s difficult to figure out from the outside how many more weeks or days are left until Trump’s indictment actually happens. But this is clearly all endgame stuff. When prosecutors are putting it out there in the media that the IT guy has testified against two Trump aides, so that both aides are motivated to hurry up and flip before the other one can, it really is the end of the line. Trump’s aides can either immediately cut deals against Trump, or they can imminently get indicted with him. The choice is theirs, but they’d better hurry up, because the indictment train is leaving the station with or without them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report