If you’re old enough to remember the A-Team, you’re familiar with the catch phrase “I love it when a plan comes together.” Of course if you’re a racist like Donald Trump, you reword it “I love it when the Klan comes together.” But when it comes to Robert Mueller, his plan is coming together right before our eyes, in ways we saw coming all along, and ways we didn’t see coming at all. What’s become abundantly clear these past few days is that he has even more aces up his sleeve than we thought.
We all knew that Mueller arrested Rick Gates along with Paul Manafort because he was hoping to get Gates to flip on Manafort, so that Manafort would flip on Trump. And frankly, this was always going to work. Gates is broke and couldn’t afford to mount the kind of sophisticated legal defense team required to have a snowball’s chance at beating money laundering charges. So of course Gates flipped in the end. Manafort will flip too, because his high priced attorneys can’t save him now that his longtime business partner Gates is testifying against him.
But no one saw Mueller indicting the Russians for conspiring to rig the election in Trump’s favor. Especially not right now, when Mueller had us all believing that his next step was to bring the obstruction of justice case against Trump. This was a strategic kick in Trump’s groin to weaken him politically before bringing the legal hammer down on him. It’s the kind of moment that makes you glad Mueller is on our side, and makes you hope that Mueller never comes after you for anything.
As of now, Robert Mueller is simultaneously hammering away at Donald Trump from the obstruction of justice angle that’s in focus of late, the Gates-Manafort Russian money laundering angle that we’ve just been reminded has always been in plain sight, and the election rigging conspiracy angle that no one saw coming. And this is just the stuff we know about. If he has aces up his sleeve as mischievous as the Russia indictments, he clearly has more aces to play that we didn’t know he even had.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report