Over the weekend, Palmer Report spelled out the evidence which strongly suggests that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is sitting on at least one sealed indictment against Donald Trump, even as he openly pursues Trump’s various underlings. I’ve since been chewing on why Mueller would take this particular path. It’s now become more clear: it’s all about blocking Trump from being able to pardon anyone.
As I laid out earlier, court records list the indictment against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates as “Indictment (B)” means there’s also an “Indictment (A)” floating around out there, still under seal (link). By definition, Indictment (A) has to be against someone of higher value in the investigation than Manafort, which shortens the list to Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, and maybe Jared Kushner. The target of the sealed indictment also has to be someone whose crimes relate to the crimes that Manafort and Gates are charged with, which essentially narrows it down to just Donald Trump himself. In other words, Mueller is sitting on a sealed indictment against Trump. But why?
It was a Palmer Report reader who helped me put the pieces together, as I’m once again reminded that I’m fortunate to have the smartest audience in all of politics. Various respected legal experts are of the belief that if Donald Trump tries to pardon his own alleged co-conspirators in the Trump Russia scandal, the courts will rule that those pardons are unconstitutional. Of course that puts the legal burden on Mueller to demonstrate that Trump’s underlings truly are his co-conspirators.
The shortest route to get there: each time Robert Mueller gets a grand jury to indict one of Donald Trump’s underlings (Manafort, Gates, Michael Flynn, etc) for any given crime, he’s having that grand jury indict Donald Trump as part of that same criminal conspiracy. That way, if Trump does try to pardon any of these people, Mueller can immediately unseal the indictment against Trump, thus blocking that pardon. This is almost surely why Mueller has a sealed “Indictment (A)” against Trump in the Manafort-Gates case.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report