Back when the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York signed off on the FBI raid of Michael Cohen’s office and residence, Palmer Report took some heat for referring to this as a de facto Robert Mueller operation. Yes, the SDNY is a separate federal entity. But Mueller handed off the Cohen case to the SDNY, which would never have done anything with the case unless Mueller unofficially signed off on it. Now, new revelations are making clear that not only has Mueller been pursuing Cohen all along, it’s always been all about the Trump Organization.
After Michael Cohen’s office was raided, Robert Mueller began asking other witnesses questions about Cohen. These questions, which have now been revealed by NBC, make three things clear. First, Mueller was always focused on Cohen, even though he handed off the Cohen case to SDNY. Second, Mueller was always expecting Cohen to flip on Trump eventually, and he was trying to corroborate what would end up being Cohen’s version of events once he flipped.
Third, and most tellingly, Robert Mueller has been focused all along on the work that Michael Cohen did for the Trump Organization over the years. So much for the idea that the Trump-Cohen investigation was only about the illegal payoffs during the election. Mueller is looking to use Cohen, along with other witnesses who can back him up, to expose the decades of corruption that Donald Trump was running through his shady real estate business.
This dovetails with last week’s report that immunity had been given to Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who has been in that position for decades. The lines between Robert Mueller and SDNY are so blurred here, it doesn’t matter who technically cut the deal; Mueller only handed it off in order to ensure that Trump couldn’t stop the Cohen investigation by firing him. Mueller is lining up witnesses to go straight for the throat of the Trump Organization, and it’s too late for Trump to stop him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report