Yesterday we saw Michael Cohen plead guilty to the felony of having lied to Congress about the Trump-Russia scandal. This implicated Donald Trump in the specific matter involved, the Trump Tower Moscow plot. As Palmer Report pointed out at the time, it also set a clear precedent for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to indict and arrests everyone in the Trump-Russia scandal who lied to Congress. Now the Senate is confirming that those arrests are indeed in motion.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, the only congressional committee that is still investigating Trump-Russia in bipartisan fashion, and the only one that’s been in lockstep with Robert Mueller the entire time, just made a big reveal. Its Republican Chairman Richard Burr is confirming that his committee “has made referrals” to Mueller, adding “In a lot of cases, those might be tied to lying to us.” There are two key things to note here.
First is the word “referrals” – plural – which means that this is just about Michael Cohen or any one person; this is everyone. And if you’re concerned that this announcement is coming from the Republican leader of the committee, there is separate confirmation that the criminal referrals are in fact bipartisan, and were also signed off on by Democratic ranking member Mark Warner, so these are on the up and up. Where does this get us?
As we’ve seen, Robert Mueller likes to catch his targets off guard, so the timing is up to him. We’ve also seen that he likes to use easy-to-prove charges like perjury to push medium fish into cutting plea deals against big fish. The Senate just handed him the ability to go flip these people right away, and the ones who refuse will be arrested. The big testimony-inspired Trump Russia arrests are now in motion. We don’t know for certain who lied to the Senate, but they do, and they should be expecting a knock at the door.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report