Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed the first criminal charges in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, according to a CNN report this evening which has not revealed any names or charges. However, based on the events of the past several hours, it may not be difficult to predict what’s going on here, who’s been charged, who flipped on him, and why a U.S. Attorney announced his retirement earlier today.
Earlier today Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced that he was resigning/retiring. As Palmer Report pointed out at the time, Robert Mueller has been running Trump-Russia grand juries in Boente’s district, so Boente’s retirement suggests that Mueller has now gotten everything he needed out of those grand juries – including sealed indictments. Then hours later, former CIA Director James Woolsey confirmed to the media that he’s begun cooperating with Mueller.
Woolsey was an eyewitness to Michael Flynn’s plot with the Turkish government to kidnap a Turkish citizen in Pennsylvania and ship him to Turkey. Thus, Woolsey’s cooperation almost certainly means that he’s given up Flynn, in exchange for leniency or immunity. We also know that Mueller’s grand juries in the Eastern District of Virginia have been targeting Flynn all along. So it sounds a lot like Woolsey gave up Flynn, Mueller used it to get a sealed indictment in his Flynn grand jury, Boente then felt comfortable retiring, and now Mueller has filed criminal charges against Flynn.
Again, the CNN on-air report in question has not identified the individual or individuals who have been charged, only that Robert Mueller has in fact brought criminal charges in the Trump-Russia scandal. But based on the events of the day and how they fit together, the smart money is that Michael Flynn has been charged with the rendition plot (and possibly other charges) based on James Woolsey’s testimony.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report