This morning we learned that Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly are no longer on speaking terms, and that Kelly is preparing to resign within the next few days. Now we’re learning about the probable reason for the falling out and impending departure: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has gotten to John Kelly.
For months there have been various major media reports that Donald Trump was doing everything possible to prevent Robert Mueller from interviewing John Kelly. The clear implication was that it was because Kelly had a front row seat for so much of Trump’s felony obstruction of justice, and could easily incriminate him. In fact some of Kelly’s reported behavior could qualify as conspiracy to obstruct justice, so it’s not difficult to imagine Kelly offering to sell Trump out to Mueller in exchange for not being prosecuted himself.
As it turns out, Robert Mueller interviewed John Kelly sometime in “recent months,” according to a new report from CNN. This of course can’t be a coincidence. Just as this news is surfacing, Kelly is leaving the building. We don’t know if his “resignation” is a matter of him leaving or Trump telling him to leave. But based on the timing, it’s fairly clear that Trump didn’t know until recently that Kelly had sold him out to Mueller months ago. So now what?
Of late there has been significant focus on the Trump-Russia election conspiracy investigation, thanks to media leaks and Robert Mueller’s various filings. But this news about John Kelly is a reminder that the obstruction of justice investigation is alive and well – and that at least one of Donald Trump’s top people is resigning in relation to it. Kelly won’t be the last.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report