Yesterday we all saw Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein walk all over Donald Trump’s illegitimately installed Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. While we don’t know what transpired internally, we do know the end result is that Whitaker failed to prevent Mueller from cutting a guilty plea deal with Michael Cohen that was immediately devastating to Trump. Now, at a convenient time, someone just fed Whitaker to the wolves.
The Wall Street Journal just published a story which reveals that when Matt Whitaker was involved in the infamous scam toilet company, he was much more deeply involved in the fraud perpetrated on its customers than had been previously known. Moreover, the story reveals that the Federal Trade Commission – which shut down the company last year – has proof of Whitaker’s actions. This comes after confirmation earlier this month that Whitaker is under FBI criminal investigation for his role in the company. So now what?
This story is not going to magically result in Matt Whitaker being led away in handcuffs today or tomorrow. We have no idea where the FBI and/or prosecutors might be in their investigation into him. Even “obviously” guilty people have to be indicted by a grand jury, then criminally charged, and so on. Nor do we know if Whitaker would ultimately be found guilty. But today’s revelation is crucial because of the timing in relation to the Trump-Russia investigation.
Matthew Whitaker was already clearly standing on shaky legal ground, based on the illegality of his appointment, what was already known about his role in the scam company, and the fact that he would be committing obstruction of justice if he tried to sabotage Robert Mueller. Now Whitaker is suddenly in an even weaker position, because now everyone knows that he’s facing severe legal trouble. We don’t know who conveniently leaked this to the WSJ, but realistically, it just became much harder for Whitaker to find a way to succeed in sabotaging Mueller.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report