Observers on all sides have come to the conclusion that Special Counsel Robert Mueller runs such a tight ship, nothing leaks from his investigation by accident. But considering how often certain details about his investigation show up in the media at just the right time to help him strategically, it’s fair to conclude that he’s likely been giving these details to the media on purpose. When you look at today’s new Mueller bombshell through that lens, it reveals a lot about what he’s planning to do next.
Mueller is now considering waiting to move on Donald Trump and his inner circle for obstruction of justice until he has the other key aspects of his investigation ready to go as well, according to new reporting from Bloomberg. The article in question states that Mueller is waiting to charge Trump’s inner circle with obstruction of justice, for fear of spooking them into no longer cooperating with the other aspects of the investigation (link). But wait a minute here, the least effective way to not spook people is to let slip to the media that you’re going to eventually bring criminal charges against them, and you’re hoping not to spook them before it happens.
If we all agree that things like this don’t leak from Mueller’s investigation by accident, then there are only two possibilities here. The first is that Mueller is so stupid, he doesn’t realize he just tipped off to Trump’s inner circle that they’re going to eventually be indicted on felony charges. The second is that Mueller is so smart, he put this out there specifically because he wants Trump’s inner circle to know that they’re going to be indicted.
This dovetails with former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg’s big reveal last week that he was subpoenaed by a Robert Mueller grand jury to testify about his communications with various members of Trump’s current and former inner circle. That list included Hope Hicks, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, and others. We’ve been wondering aloud if this meant Mueller is looking to indict these people, or merely to collect their conversations with the real Trump-Russia targets.
Today’s Bloomberg report tells us that Robert Mueller is indeed looking to indict most or all of the people in Donald Trump’s inner circle for obstruction of justice, rather than declining to charge them in exchange for their cooperation. Further, Mueller is now looking to make sure they know they’re going to be indicted in the end. The only logical conclusion is that he’s trying to push them into cutting plea deals. It’s also the latest reminder that no one who participated in the Trump-Russia conspiracy and coverup is getting out of it fully unscathed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report