Yesterday it was revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had interviewed Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser Stephen Miller about the Trump-Russia scandal before Miller and Trump departed for Asia. This came as somewhat of a surprise, as Miller’s name has not regularly been thrown around as a key player in the scandal. Palmer Report pointed out that Mueller had to have known something (link), even though it wasn’t clear what that something was. Now it’s become much more clear.
The New York Times published a lengthy new expose today, focused largely on the role that George Papadopoulos played in the Donald Trump campaign and in the Trump-Russia conspiracy (link). Notably, Stephen Miller pops up in this story no less than five times. Papadopoulos was in “regular contact” with Miller during the period of time in which Papadopoulos met with a Kremlin connected professor. In fact the NYT now reports that Miller is the unnamed “senior policy adviser” mentioned in the court documents surrounding Papadopoulos’s guilty plea.
To be clear, none of this means that Stephen Miller committed any crime; Mueller may have simply sought him out as a witness. However, it does make clear that Miller (unless he didn’t read his emails) was at least partially aware at the time of what Papadopoulos was plotting with the Russian government. Papadopoulos already pleaded guilty months ago, so Mueller didn’t seek out Miller last week in order to build a case against Papadopoulos. Instead, it’s more likely that Mueller took what he learned from Papadopoulos and tried to use it to get the information he needs from Miller about the roles that the highest level campaign officials may have played in what Papadopoulos was plotting.
If that all sounds overly complicated, it serves as a reminder that Trump-Russia is the most complex political scandal in American history. Robert Mueller has to go step by complicated step in order to get to the finish line. Make no mistake: that finish line involves exposing Donald Trump’s own role in the Trump-Russia scandal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report