Steve Bannon has spent the past week giving twenty hours of helpful testimony to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, even while thumbing his nose at the Trump-controlled House Intel Committee. Rick Gates is putting the finishing touches on a formal plea deal with Mueller. This means that things are officially in motion this week. So who’s about to cut the next plea deal, and who’s about to get flipped on?
To figure this out, it’s best to start by looking at which dominoes are likely to trigger which other dominoes. For instance, the Gates deal means that Paul Manafort just lost what little hope he might have had of using his high priced attorneys to beat the rap. If everyone were acting logically, Manafort would cut a deal tomorrow. But for all we know he may be in denial for a bit before he gives in to the inevitable. So perhaps we should instead be looking at the other row of plea deal dominoes.
It’s now been ten weeks since Michael Flynn cut his plea deal. We don’t know who precisely he flipped on, but he had to have provided overwhelming evidence against one or more bigger fish. That basically leaves Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions as the only realistic names. Those people each know if Flynn has the goods to take them down. In other words, one or more of the above five people knows they’re screwed. If it’s Kushner and/or Sessions, for all we know they may have already cut plea deals in the time since Flynn cut his deal.
There are also other wildcards. For instance we still don’t know for certain who all was incriminated by the George Papadopoulos deal, which was cut last July. We don’t know who else has secretly flipped along the way. We don’t know who else Gates is taking down besides Manafort. And we don’t know what all Bannon has been hiding up his sleeve. But if you want a hint about who’s going to cut the next deal, start by following the dominoes that have already fallen.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report