For all the attention being given today to the arrests of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates, the text of their indictment reveals something which may be a far bigger story. It has to do with the legal labeling of the Manafort and Gates indictment in question, which very much reads like there’s also a sealed indictment against Donald Trump.
As caught by the keen eye of Kierán Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity and then pointed out on Twitter, the Manafort-Gates indictment is labeled “Indictment (B)” (link). This one letter matters greatly, because it means there’s also an Indictment (A), which is still sealed. By the nature of these things, Indictment (A) is more high profile than Indictment (B). That means it’s someone higher profile than Paul Manafort. That’s a very short list. There’s also only one reason for it to still be sealed.
Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has also been indicted, but he has a different case number altogether – so he can’t be Indictment (A). Nor can it be Michael Flynn, because he’s being pursued by a different federal grand jury in a different district altogether. And again, by definition, Indictment (A) has to be higher profile than Indictment (B). That means it can only possibly be three people: Jeff Sessions, Mike Pence, or Donald Trump. We can narrow it down further, because if it were Sessions, it probably wouldn’t be sealed.
It’s entirely believable that an indictment against Donald Trump or Mike Pence would still be sealed. But it’s highly difficult to imagine that Robert Mueller is indicting Pence for crimes related to Paul Manafort, while not indicting Trump. So the only logical interpretation is that this sealed indictment is against Donald Trump. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe and others have argued that a sitting president can indeed be indicted.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report