Robert Mueller’s next big move

The Resistance is getting restless. Donald Trump is becoming more dangerously mentally incompetent by the day. His Republican allies are now openly committing felonies in the name of trying to prop him up so they can continue passing their anti-American legislation. Yet we haven’t heard a peep from Special Counsel Robert Mueller since, well, ever. The man doesn’t speak. However, it’s easy to deduce quite a bit about his next big move.

Let’s start with what we know. Mueller’s last concrete move was his plea deal with Michael Flynn five weeks ago. Mueller would not have handed out that kind of deal unless Flynn was able to demonstrate to him that he had hard evidence – and not just his own word – that proved even bigger fish guilty. So even as Mueller’s team continues to pursue various smaller fish for the sake of carrying out complete justice, it’s easy to deduce who his real targets are at present.

All we have to do is start with the bigger fish than Flynn. That means Mueller is currently using Flynn’s evidence to prepare an imminent takedown of one or more of these people: Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, Jeff Sessions, Mike Pence, Donald Trump. If it’s anyone short of Trump, then the next step will be to flip that person against Trump. But for now, depending on what Flynn has specifically coughed up against whom, the next move is all but certainly against one of those five names. Now comes the bigger question: when?

Keep in mind that while we’d all like to see the Trump-Russia culprits hauled out in handcuffs, it’s far better for Mueller to cut a deal with Trump’s top underlings than to arrest them. Let’s say that Mueller arrests Kushner tomorrow. Then what? It’ll mean he couldn’t get Kushner to cut a deal, which means that Kushner has decided to dig in and fight the charges at trial. That in turn means no evidence turned over against Trump any time soon. So it’s better for Mueller to continue trying to finesse a deal out of his next target.

The current delay, while exasperating, is actually a good sign. It means that Robert Mueller still believes his next target up the food chain can be coaxed into cutting a deal. If not, he’d have arrested the person by now out of necessity, which wouldn’t put him any closer to taking down Trump. The entire point of this is to get to Trump, and that requires cutting deals the whole way up the chain. Mueller is moving as swiftly and smartly as possible. In the mean time, it’s up to the Resistance to continue holding the fort as Mueller’s army advances.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report