Robert Mueller just played Donald Trump like a fiddle

Throughout the day, a crucial breaking story in the Trump-Russia has been evolving in subtle but important ways. Now the details are finally becoming clear. It was first reported earlier today that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had successfully subpoenaed Donald Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank. Trump’s attorneys disputed the story, and now the media is revealing new details that spell out Mueller has just played Trump like a fiddle.

When Trump’s attorneys disputed the story, it was clear that they were doing so for Trump’s benefit. They’ve long been selling him on the notion that Mueller isn’t actually investigating him for anything, as a way of telling him what he wants to hear, and keeping him from going completely off the deep end. Their denial today was no different. But it turns out that while the media report was indeed true, Mueller – apparently intentionally – left them a bit of deniability.

The Wall Street Journal is now slightly revising its original reporting, to make clear that the financial records in question were merely in relation to Donald Trump. What’s the difference? Nothing. It’s a matter of semantics. Deutsche Bank was busted earlier this year for laundering Russian money into the hands of clients in places like New York City. Deutsche Bank has also long floated suspiciously large loans to Trump. This has never been difficult to put together. If Russia has indeed been depositing money into Deutsche for the purpose of being floated to Trump, Russia would be using dummy accounts that don’t have Trump’s name on them.

So yeah, it can be technically said that Robert Mueller didn’t seize Donald Trump’s banking records from Deutsche Bank; he merely seized the dummy accounts that prove Trump has been on the take from Russia. This means Trump’s attorneys can tell Trump that Mueller still isn’t going after him, and they won’t technically be lying. It allows Mueller to go after Trump’s finances while keeping an increasingly isolated and addled Trump in the dark about it.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report