In the midst of this week’s high profile elections and general Trump-Russia chaos, it nearly went under the radar that Donald Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller testified before Congress about the Trump-Russia scandal. Ahead of his testimony, the Democrats on the committee made clear that they would use their allotted time to grill Schiller specifically about Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow, when the Pee Pee Tape incident allegedly look place. New details suggest Schiller may have – wittingly or unwittingly – spilled at least some beans about it.
Schiller spent a total of six hours testifying, according to an on-air report by MSNBC. That means roughly three of those hours were spent answering questions asked by the Democrats on the committee. At least one of those Democrats has hinted that Schiller claimed not to recall several of the key aspects of Trump’s 2013 Moscow trip. But here’s the thing: no one testifies before Congress for that long without giving something away, and there’s a reason why.
When people are testifying before Congress about their role in a major criminal scandal, the last thing they want to do is appear to be less than forthcoming. At the least, they fear it’ll make them look guilty. At the most, they fear being held in contempt of Congress. So even if they have no intention of being helpful, they try to create the appearance of being helpful by offering up a whole lot of harmless details. What they don’t realize is that some of those “harmless” details are in fact the precise pieces of the puzzle that investigators are looking for, because it allows them to figure out where to look next.
If you’ve read the recently released transcript of Carter Page’s congressional testimony in the Trump-Russia scandal, you know what an extreme case of this looks like. It’s typically a lot more subtle. But if Keith Schiller spent six hours testifying, and if he spent three of those hours talking specifically about Donald Trump’s Pee Pee Tape trip to Moscow, it means he gave away more than he intended to. As a result, look for a major or minor breakthrough on the Pee Pee Tape front soon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report