At this point could anything more be going wrong for Donald Trump? His criminal investigations are closing in on him, his historic unpopularity has made him ripe for the ousting, and yesterday we learned that his own people have been trying to sabotage him from within. Now Trump has made an announcement which – whether he fully realizes it or not – is a de factor request that Special Counsel Robert Mueller finish him off as quickly as possible.
After months of hemming and hawing, tonight Donald Trump abruptly announced that he will not give Robert Mueller any sort of interview about his obstruction of justice. Trump won’t answer questions about obstruction in person, nor in writing, not even via tweet. Trump is finally acknowledging what many observers have long expected: he’s too afraid to give Mueller the opportunity to either trip him up in to confessing, or catch him in a lie. So why does this accelerate things?
Prosecutors don’t ask the kingpin for an interview until the investigation is otherwise more or less complete. Let’s say that Trump did decide to sit for an interview with Mueller. It would be scheduled for X number of weeks from now. Then after the interview, X number of weeks would go by as Mueller’s team investigated every one of Trump’s interview answers. This lengthy process would only serve to drag out Mueller’s endgame. But now that Trump is flat out saying he won’t do an interview about obstruction, it means the obstruction investigation is over.
Exactly when and how is Robert Mueller going to go about making his big move against Donald Trump on obstruction of justice? We don’t know yet, and neither does Trump. But whatever Mueller’s timetable is, it’s been significantly sped up by Trump’s acknowledgement tonight that he’s not sitting for an obstruction interview. Does Trump realize that he’s asking Mueller to hurry up and finish him off, or is Trump just raging at this point without any thoughts about consequences?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report