Donald Trump’s invitation for Putin to visit the White House just opened up a huge opportunity for Robert Mueller
Whenever Donald Trump makes his biggest and most humiliating mistakes that hurt him the most, for some reason he wants us to keep focusing on those mistakes. When one of his schemes blows up in his face, he spends months ranting angrily about it on Twitter, instead of letting it fade away. Now that his Putin summit has turned out to be a disaster for him, he’s decided to double down by floating the idea of inviting Putin to visit the White House. This would be a huge mistake, and not just in terms of optics.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has now indicted twelve Russian government spies for their roles in hacking the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Last night the New York Times told us that the U.S. intel community informed Donald Trump back in early January of 2017 that Putin personally oversaw the election hacking. This means Mueller has more than enough evidence to secure a grand jury indictment against Putin.
Now don’t start getting your hopes up about unrealistic scenarios. We’re not going to see Robert Mueller and the FBI marching into the Oval Office and arresting Vladimir Putin. That would create the kind of international incident that would destabilize things even further. But Mueller can get an indictment against Putin at any time – that is, of course, if he isn’t already sitting on a sealed Putin indictment.
If Donald Trump makes the mistake of setting up a summit with Vladimir Putin in the United States this fall, it sets up a situation where Robert Mueller can announce an indictment of Putin any time he wants. Maybe Mueller will roll out the indictment just after Trump formally extends the invitation, thus forcing Trump and Putin to cancel under bad optics. Or maybe Mueller announces the indictment while Putin is in the Oval Office, just to screw with Trump and make him look bad. Again, Putin isn’t magically getting arrested under any circumstances. Any indictment of him would be symbolic. But wow did Trump just hand Mueller the opportunity to turn this whole thing on its head.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report