Finally. We were wondering when the mainstream conversation would finally get there. The topic, of course, is Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his sealed indictments. Politico addressed the topic yesterday, pointing out that Mueller can obtain sealed indictments against a number of Trump-Russia figures as a way of protecting himself. If Donald Trump tries to fire him, he can immediately unseal the indictments, and upend everything. Here’s the catch: the evidence suggests that Mueller began obtaining sealed indictments six months ago or more.
Back in October of last year, when Robert Mueller arrested Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, the most underreported detail was they were listed as “Indictment (B)” in the court filings. That meant there had to be an “Indictment (A)” as well, and that one or more other people were named in it. By definition, the person or people named in Indictment (A) had to have been bigger fish than Manafort or Gates, and had to have been at least tangentially connected to the crimes that Manafort and Gates were charged with. Indictment (A) never did surface, which means that it’s been under seal all this time.
At the time, Palmer Report made the argument as to why, logically speaking, Indictment (A) was probably against Donald Trump. Others have made the argument that it was more likely against Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump Jr, or some other big fish. Any or all of these names are possible; the point of a sealed indictment is that we have no way of confirming the names for sure.
In subsequent court filings, we haven’t been able to spot evidence of additional sealed indictments. But that may just mean that Robert Mueller got better at covering his tracks after the first one. In any case, the question is not whether Mueller is sitting on sealed indictments. The question is how many of those indictments he’s sitting on, and who all they’re against. If Donald Trump starts the complex firing process required to get Mueller fired, Mueller could have the indictments unsealed and the targets arrested before he’s fired. It’s his insurance policy. It has been all along.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report