When it comes to his heightening scandals, Donald Trump is running out of options. Whatever went on in Niger, his attempted coverup has only turned it into a far bigger scandal. There’s little he can do at this point to stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller from getting to the bottom of his Russia scandal. And so, as a last ditch desperation move, Trump is taking his first steps toward stealing a page out of Vladimir Putin’s playbook.
Donald Trump’s own former top people, Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, began cooperating with Mueller this past week. The full extent of that cooperation is still unknown, but it seems to have been enough for Trump to resort to what can only be described as a panic move aimed at making potential witnesses think twice. In the same moment that Putin issued a phony arrest warrant for British investment fund CEO Bill Browder, the Trump administration revoked Browder’s visa. This leaves Browder unable to enter the United States, and thus more likely to end up being assassinated by Putin, or arrested by Putin and then killed in prison.
Make no mistake here: Donald Trump just used his office to conspire with a foreign enemy to try to get an innocent man murdered. There’s a reason Putin and Trump are targeting Bill Browder in particular: he’s a key witness in the Trump-Russia scandal. He testified before Congress in July that Donald Trump Jr and the Russian government really were conspiring to rig the election when they met during the campaign. Trump and Putin are now sending a message to upcoming potential witnesses that their lives just might be put in danger by their testimony as well.
Putin has been murdering political opponents for years. What stands out here as stunning, yet perhaps predictable, is that Donald Trump is now trying to help Putin murder a witness in the Trump-Russia scandal. Trump is going that far down the criminal despot rabbit hole – and it’s clear he’s just that scared of what’s closing in on him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report