Two weeks ago, Palmer Report connected the dots of the publicly available evidence and figured out that former White House Chief of staff Reince Priebus and current White House Counsel Don McGahn had both flipped on Donald Trump in the Russia investigation (link). Now the New York Times has published a new bombshell story which, among many other things, confirms that Priebus and McGahn did indeed flip on Trump.
The stunning new expose from the NY Times reveals that Reince Priebus was taking copious notes during his entire time in the White House. This alone is revelatory. It’s long been known that White House Press Secretary was taking notes for the entire length of his tenure, but this was merely his custom at every political job he’s ever had, suggesting Spicer was naively doing so without realizing he was creating an evidence trail. Priebus is politically savvy enough to know that he was setting himself up as an eventual key witness by taking those notes, suggesting that he knew he would eventually need to get himself off the hook for Trump’s crimes. More importantly, Robert Mueller now has Priebus’ notes.
This means, in no uncertain terms, that Priebus has flipped. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s cut a formal plea deal. Although Priebus arguably conspired to obstruct justice simply by discussing the Trump-Russia coverup with Donald Trump, it’s possible Mueller agreed not to charge him at all in exchange for his cooperation. Either way, we know that Priebus has flipped because he turned over his notes. It gets better.
As Palmer Report has previously explained, Priebus and Don McGahn still have the same attorney in the Russia scandal. If one of them flipped and the other didn’t, the attorney could no longer represent them both. So now that we know Priebus has flipped, we also know McGahn has flipped. This same NY Times story reveals that one of Don McGahn’s deputies went out of his way to mislead Trump, in the hope of preventing Trump from committing further obstruction of justice (link). These details could only really have come from McGahn himself, and the fact that they’re being reported means that McGahn gave them to Mueller. This helps confirm that McGahn has indeed flipped.
This leaves us with a number of remarkable conclusions. Don McGahn is somehow still the White House Counsel despite having flipped on Donald Trump weeks or months ago. Reince Priebus knew from the start of Trump’s presidency that he’d eventually need notes to get himself off the hook from the obstruction crimes that he expected Trump to commit. This also means that Sean Spicer, who volunteered to be interviewed by Robert Mueller the same week that Priebus did, has probably also flipped on Trump as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report