Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced his resignation today. By all accounts, it feels more like a retirement. There are no fireworks, no controversy, no immediate abandonment of his post, and no sign that Donald Trump tried to force him out. Boente has been a key player in the Trump Russia investigation, so various pundits are knee-jerk interpreting this as being a catastrophic development. But considering the circumstances, it very much reads like just the opposite: Boente is finally exiting because Special Counsel Robert Mueller has progressed so far, he no longer needs Boente’s services.
Mueller has been running a number of federal grand juries out of the Eastern District of Virginia. Dana Boente is clearly on Mueller’s side, as he’s made no effort to interfere with that grand jury process in his district. Boente wouldn’t walk away now if Mueller still needed him, because Trump will try to appoint a loyalist to take Boente’s place. Thus the logical conclusion is that Boente is retiring because Mueller has already gotten everything he needs out of those grand juries. This is where it gets interesting.
It’s not enough for Mueller to have gotten subpoenas or even warrants from those grand juries. He needs indictments. However, there have been no media reports of indictments having been handed down. The most logical explanation here is that sealed indictments have been issued, which Mueller can have unsealed as needed. Thus Boente – an Obama appointee – can now safely bail on working for a Trump administration he clearly opposes, with his role in the investigation now complete.
If you’re not convinced of the above, consider the only other possible explanation: that Dana Boente, despite being a Robert Mueller ally, is voluntarily walking away from his job without a fight while Mueller still needs him. That would make no sense whatsoever. The logical conclusion here is that Mueller has his sealed indictments in hand and is ready to unleash them. Specifically, considering the venue, Michael Flynn is about to be indicted – along with possibly others.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report