The trouble with being one of eighty-one people to receive a document request is that you don’t know what the next person is going to do when it comes to overlapping documents that you and the other person have. Will the other person sell you out? Should you cooperate and sell them out first? It’s the classic prisoner’s dilemma. Now we’re seeing a much more direct example playing out in real time.
Donald Trump’s buddy Erik Prince is a thug, but he’s savvy enough to know how these things work. He knows Special Counsel Robert Mueller can and will indict him for lying to the House last year about his Trump Tower meeting. So yesterday Prince simply admitted the truth about the meeting. Prince comically claimed that the transcript of his testimony is somehow incorrect, and that he’s been up front about the meeting all along. We’ll see how far Prince does or doesn’t get with this surreal legal defense. But the real story here is that Prince just sold out Donald Trump Jr.
Erik Prince wasn’t the only one who was in that fateful meeting. Donald Trump Jr was there too. By fessing up about the meeting, which was with a shady Israeli social media firm and the leaders of two Arab nations, Prince has served up Junior on a silver platter. It’s not that Prince wants to take Junior down. It’s just that Prince is doing what he’s got to do to try to save himself, and anyone else is collateral damage.
This is just one example of a cascading series of events we’re about to see taking place. With document requests placing Donald Trump’s people in a no-win situation, and Robert Mueller’s indictments looming just under the surface, each person involved is about to do whatever he thinks might save himself, without regard for how many other dominoes get taken down in the process. Erik Prince is just trying to get out ahead of the avalanche. It won’t work. They’re all about to take each other down.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report