This was the week in which Robert Mueller went from passively draining the life out of Donald Trump’s presidency to actively siphoning it. After months of complex positioning behind the scenes, we’ve now witnessed a span of a few days which has seen everything from Trump’s campaign chairman being placed under house arrest to other campaign officials being dragged before grand juries. But that’s nothing compared to what’s about to happen.
This was just the warning shot, so to speak. Mueller must have concluded that he wasn’t going to get any voluntary cooperation out of Paul Manafort no matter how he approached it, so instead he decided to destroy Manafort’s life in order to send a signal to the other people whose cooperation he wants. Everyone else in the Trump-Russia scandal who’s ever broken a law, or has anything to hide, now sees what just happened to Manafort, and knows it can happen to them too. Or they can choose to be like George Papadopoulos, who probably won’t see any prison time for his felonies, simply because he cooperated. Now that they’ve seen their two options up close, Mueller is about to give some of them a very short window of time to make up their minds.
We know that Mueller’s federal grand jury in Virginia against Michael Flynn is either complete or nearly complete, based on the details that are now surfacing around it. We know that Mueller has an ongoing federal grand jury in Washington DC which involves Trump adviser Sam Clovis as either a defendant, or a witness against someone higher up the chain. Based on case numbers, it appears that Mueller has at least three other cases in DC going on. That’s in addition to any completed grand juries and sealed indictments we don’t know about. But that’s not even what Trump should fear.
Robert Mueller had George Papadopoulos arrested four months ago, cut a deal with him awhile back, got him to implicate several Trump campaign officials, and did it all without anyone finding out until this week. Who else has Mueller already flipped that we don’t know about? This Friday, Donald Trump heads overseas for a twelve day trip. It’s the ideal opportunity for Mueller to move in on the people close to Trump. We don’t know precisely when anything will happen – but we’re entering the part where Mueller goes for Trump’s jugular. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report