Three weeks ago, Donald Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller began informing people that he was planning to leave his White House job (link). As of Tuesday night, he has in fact officially left the job (link). This comes at nearly the exact time as Donald Trump Jr has given up his own Secret Service protection. So what’s really going on here? It appears all three men are trying to hide something.
We’ll see whether or not Schiller does indeed become Donald Trump Jr’s personal bodyguard, as so many are now presuming. But the mere fact that Schiller has left the White House, and the timing of his departure in particular, are a big deal. Donald Trump sent Schiller to hand deliver a firing letter to FBI Director James Comey. It was a bizarre and suspicious move, considering that Schiller was the wrong person for such a task, and Trump knew Comey was on the west coast at the time anyway; he deliberately sent Schiller to an empty office.
That makes Schiller, at the least, a witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s attempt at obstructing justice when he fired Comey. Schiller revealed his departure from the White House at nearly the same time Mueller began zeroing in on that firing. Quitting his job doesn’t get him off the hook – but it does prevent him from being a witness or participant in any further attempts by Trump at obstructing justice.
Meanwhile, it’s clear that Donald Trump Jr is ditching his Secret Service protection because he knows the agents will have to testify about any illegal activity (including conspiracy to obstruct of justice) that they see him engaging in. Again, this doesn’t erase whatever the agents have already witnessed. But as we’ve seen, these aren’t the brightest people. For instance Trump Jr blocked Palmer Report on Twitter after we published a negative news article about him this summer, and he seemed to think doing so made our article go away.
Based on the timing, it’s fair to assume that Keith Schiller is leaving the White House due to the investigation into the Comey firing, and it’s fair to assume that Donald Trump Jr is ditching his Secret Service protection due to the investigation into his Russia meeting and its coverup. Whether Schiller ends up guarding Trump Jr going forward or not, these men are all merely trying to avoid the inevitable.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report