In the course of the past twenty-four hours, a sequence of events has unfolded which has painted several key members of the Donald Trump campaign and/or administration as being guilty of either conspiring with Russia to rig the election, or subsequently covering it up. One has resigned; four have been nailed by the FBI for having colluded with Russian intel agents; they’re all going down. And the next step is that they’ll start cutting deals to save themselves, taking him down.
The smoking gun came this evening when it leaked that the FBI has identified four senior members of the Donald Trump campaign who conspired by phone with Russian intelligence agents during the election. Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Paul Manafort have all been caught red handed on the collusion by the FBI. In addition, Flynn appears to have lied to the FBI last month when he was questioned, which is a crime in and of itself.
We’re still attempting to determine whether Page ever came back from his trip to Moscow two months ago. But it’s now a race among the other three men to see who can cut the best deal. Can one of them get full immunity? Can all three of them get off the hook, or just the first one who squeals? Stone is a decades-long friend of Trump and may be hesitant to flip on him unless absolutely necessary. But Manafort and Flynn, who have no such personal ties to Trump and have now both been scapegoated and forced out by him, have no reason to be loyal to him at a cost to themselves.
So it’s a matter of who wants badly enough to win the race for the best deal the FBI is willing to cut. It seems a given that any of these men can testify that Donald Trump was aware of their Russian election collusion at the time, which is enough to take him down, based on this New York Times bombshell exposing them all as conspirators. And with all four men now aware that the FBI is about to take them down, the race is surely on to see who gets the preferential deal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report