It began with the simple confirmation this week that White House Counsel Don McGahn told Donald Trump in the earliest days of his presidency that Michael Flynn had violated the law during the transition period. Then came the realization that the news story in question could only have come from a certain place to begin with. Then came the question of why. Throw in the one thing McGahn and Reince Priebus have in common, and suddenly it looks like McGahn, Priebus, and Sean Spicer have all flipped on Trump. Let’s connect the dots.
First we learned from Foreign Policy, a respected political news site, that McGahn had told Trump very early on that Flynn committed a crime by conspiring with Russia to sabotage President Obama’s sanctions during the transition period (link). Further, the story reveals that the White House long ago turned over records to Robert Mueller this fall, confirming that McGahn had warned Trump about Flynn. Who in the White House would have turned over these records? The White House attorney, McGahn himself.
This means McGahn flipped on Trump, at least in terms of giving Mueller incriminating documents, months ago. Right around this same time, Reince Priebus – who at this point had already been forced out of the White House – was reportedly “champing at the bit” to speak with Mueller. Priebus did indeed sit for an interview with Mueller in that same timeframe. McGahn and Priebus have the same attorney in the Russia scandal, so by default, they could not have been working against each other, or their attorney would have had to dump one of them. This tells us that Priebus cooperated with Mueller during that interview and flipped on Trump for obstruction of justice as well.
This tells us that Don McGahn and Reince Priebus both flipped on Donald Trump months ago, and it’s simply been kept quiet all this time. During that same week, Sean Spicer – who had also just been pushed out the White House door by Trump – also sat down with Robert Mueller for a day-long interview. The timing strongly suggests that Spicer also flipped on Trump at that time. So why is the McGahn story hitting the media just now?
Presumably Robert Mueller wants the Don McGahn story out there as a warning shot. McGahn wouldn’t have merely given up Donald Trump. He also would have given up every White House adviser who was involved in Trump’s conspiracy to obstruct justice. Mueller is sending a clear signal to Trump’s handlers that they’d better make sure he doesn’t fire Mueller, because they’re in danger of being immediately arrested if they do.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report