Over the past few days, Palmer Report has been documenting how Special Counsel Robert Mueller has seemingly stepped up his own timetable for escalation, such as arresting Roger Stone on Friday before the criminal case against him was even complete. Now Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker of all people is saying that Mueller’s work will be done within a few weeks. So what’s going on here?
First, let’s not merely take a guy like Whitaker at his word. For several months, various major media outlets have been reporting that according to inside sources, the Mueller probe was about to “wrap up” or “wind down,” as if it were some fading entity about to dissolve into oblivion. Clearly the probe didn’t “wind down” in that supposed timeframe, and has instead continued to ramp up. In hindsight it’s fair to conclude that Trump’s people were merely leaking this over the past months in the hope of keeping him calm. After all, in Trump’s delusional mind, the Mueller probe is going to exonerate him, so the fool is looking forward to its finale.
Now we’ve got Trump’s own guy in DOJ saying from the podium that the Mueller probe is – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – about to wind down. It’s not difficult to parse that when Stone was arrested, Trump went to Whitaker demanding an explanation, so Whitaker told him it’ll all be over soon. Then Trump demanded that Whitaker go stake himself to it in public.
Back in the real world, anyone watching the probe knows that it’s going to end with Robert Mueller dropping a giant sledgehammer on Donald Trump and his family. So there’s a temptation to get excited by Matthew Whitaker’s announcement that Mueller will be finished in a few weeks. But let’s keep in mind the source here, and his likely motivation for saying it.
That said, Matthew Whitaker’s status as an unreliable narrator aside, there is evidence that Robert Mueller is gearing up for his biggest moves. The indictment of Stone skips over a number of charges relating to other aspects of Stone’s life that we know Mueller has been investigating, and instead focuses solely on Stone’s Trump-related crimes. Mueller really does seem to be moving very swiftly now to zoom in on Trump, as if the clock were ticking. We’ll find out what’s really going on soon enough.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report