Last week a friend and I were discussing what we think Robert Mueller’s next big move might be. We both agreed that, based on what had recently been emerging, Roger Stone was the obvious next big target. But my friend reminded me that Mueller rarely does the obvious thing. Sure enough, yesterday he instead went with one of his most stunning moves to date, catching everyone off guard, and once again sending the chess pieces flying.
I’ll give myself a little bit of credit in that on Friday afternoon, I did publish an article titled “Robert Mueller has cornered Michael Cohen.” It had leaked out that Mueller had been serving subpoenas to Donald Trump’s business partners and asking all of them questions about Cohen in particular. It was clear to me that something was up, but even I didn’t expect Mueller to turn around and have the FBI raid Cohen’s office and residence.
Of course that’s the entire point. If I didn’t see the raid coming, and you didn’t see the raid coming, then we know Donald Trump and Michael Cohen didn’t see the raid coming. The only reason for the judge to sign off on a search warrant in lieu of a subpoena would be that the judge believed Cohen might try to destroy the evidence. This means that secrecy was paramount. So after weeks of major media reports that gave the strong appearance Mueller was about to knock on Roger Stone’s door, and only little whiff of news about Mueller targeting Cohen, Mueller ended up knocking on Michael Cohen’s door.
This isn’t to say that Roger Stone’s time isn’t coming; it is. But while it’s not to difficult to figure out who’s going to get targeted by Roger Stone when it’s all said and done, he’s making a point of throwing in the element of surprise. If this were a reality show, it would make for a great plot twist. But Mueller isn’t doing it for the entertainment value. He’s doing it in order to keep reality show host Donald Trump off guard.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report