Rudy Giuliani went from cocky braggart during the final days of the 2016 election, to a ghost shortly afterward. He’s spent more than a year laying as low as possible, seemingly knowing all along that his antics were going to blow back on him eventually. Now that time is rapidly arriving, as Robert Mueller is making moves that are too well connected to Giuliani to be ignored.
Giuliani got himself in trouble by boasting that he knew a rogue faction of the FBI was about to meddle in the election on Donald Trump’s behalf, which ultimately cost him a cabinet position. Then he tried to interfere in the criminal trial of the vaguely Trump-Russia connected Reza Zarrab, prompting the judge to chase him off. A few months ago, Zarrab cut a deal with the Feds which appeared to pave the way in forcing Michael Flynn to cut his own plea deal. But still we hadn’t seen any specific evidence that Mueller was targeting Giuliani. That may have just changed.
Why did Mueller make such a big deal last week about busting obscure attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan? Sure, he broke the law by misleading investigators about his tangential role in the Trump-Russia investigation. But there are a whole lot of no-name people out there who fit that general description. This wasn’t merely about making a random example out of someone to scare anyone else who is refusing to cooperate. This was about sending a message to someone connected to Van Der Zwaan.
It’s not difficult to draw a straight line from Alex Van Der Zwaan to his father-in-law, who owns the Trump-Russia connected Alfa Bank, which was represented by none other than Rudy Giuliani. It looks like Robert Mueller is sending a message to Giuliani that he has him nailed, or he’s about to nail him, and that it’s time to come in and cut a plea deal against Donald Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report