Robert Mueller is playing rope-a-dope to discredit Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators

For months, Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators in Congress have been pushing the conspiracy theory that FBI agent Peter Strzok was trying to rig the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor. The basis of this theory: nothing more than some text messages from Strzok which revealed he hated Trump as much as he hated Hillary. It was an incredibly weak argument to begin with. Now we know that it was laugh out loud nonsense. We can also see how Robert Mueller is playing Trump’s side for fools.

Today we learned that Peter Strzok was the FBI agent who helped former FBI Director James Comey write a letter just before election day which falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton was under criminal investigation, thanks to a new CNN report. Various observers including FiveThirtyEight have concluded that the letter in question definitively put Donald Trump over the top at the end and made him president. So now we know that Strzok was indeed corrupt, and he did indeed act improperly during the election – but he acted improperly in Trump’s favor. Here’s the question: why didn’t Mueller just leak this information a month ago?

Think it through. If Mueller’s goal had been to prevent Trump and his co-conspirators from arguing that Strzok has been trying to destroy Trump, he easily could have neutered the whole thing from the start, simply by putting it out there that Strzok was trying to rig the election against Hillary. You can’t argue that Mueller simply refuses to leak anything, because Mueller is putting this information out there publicly now.

By waiting a month to reveal Strzok’s true nature, Robert Mueller managed to bait Donal Trump and his Republican co-conspirators into staking themselves to a ridiculous conspiracy theory which he’s now strategically blowing up in their faces. Mueller has ruined their credibility in the process. He’s playing some kind of rope-a-dope with this stuff in order to make Trump’s apologists in Congress look so foolish, they won’t be able to effectively defend him once Mueller makes his big move against Trump. Mueller doesn’t care about cable news gossip. He cares about leverage.

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