After months of what had been nothing more than a start-and-stop trickle of developments, the Trump-Russia scandal has officially hit the fan today on several fronts. Suddenly there are stories surfacing about everything from a Special Counsel grand jury issuing subpoenas to certain key players (link), to another key player having been under surveillance the entire time (link), and much more. There’s a reason it’s all hitting the fan right now, today.
After the Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that Robert Mueller has had a Trump-Russia grand jury active for weeks, Reuters reported that the grand jury in question is now sending out subpoenas in relation to the meeting between Donald Trump Jr and Russia. When people receive subpoenas, they sometimes begin talking to media about it, wanting their side of the story out there first. So now that the subpoenas are going out, there’s no longer any reason for Mueller and his team to try to keep the existence of the grand jury under wraps.
In other words, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has now made a conscious decision to allow his investigation to spill out into the public view. As I’ve previously discussed, there was always going to be a proper time for Mueller to start taking his swing, knowing that he only gets one chance to get it right, and knowing that he might fail if he began swinging before he had his ducks properly lined up. And now Mueller has decided it’s time to cross that threshold.
Mueller had been working behind the scenes all this time to make sure he had things lined up properly. Now he’s essentially going public. It’s not that he’s going to wage his investigation in the public eye. In fact he’ll continue hiding cards up his sleeve to the extent that he can. But by crossing the subpoena threshold today, Mueller knows that much of the investigation will now begin playing out in public by default. In other words, the game is now afoot.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report