The strange quiet before the Trump-Russia storm

Eleven days ago, Robert Mueller sprung into action like an avenging superhero, arresting multiple people including Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, and revealing that he’d already secretly had at least one guilty plea in the bag for quite some time. We all recognized it as the beginning of the end of Trump, or the end of the beginning, or one of those… and yet now we sit here tonight wondering why the next shoe hasn’t dropped. The thing is, a lot of shoes have dropped since the arrests began. They’re just not necessarily playing out in full public view. We do, however, have some hints.

Here we are on a Friday night and, unless something changes in the next hour, it’ll end up being the rare Friday of late in which a major Trump-Russia bombshell didn’t hit the newswires. There haven’t been any additional arrests, at least that we know of, since Paul Manafort and Rick Gates got popped. However, despite the lack of bombshell headlines, we do know that the wheels are now turning more quickly behind the scenes than ever.

For instance, yesterday we learned that Mueller already interviewed Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller before the Asia trip began. We also learned that Miller was the unidentified “senior policy adviser” referenced in the George Papadopoulos court documents, which helps explain why Mueller went straight for Miller (link). We don’t yet know about the fallout from the Mueller-Miller interview; we’re just now learning that it quietly took place at least a week ago.

We know that Trump campaign official Sam Clovis testified before a Trump-Russia grand jury two weeks ago. We still don’t know if he was testifying in his own defense, or testifying in a case against a higher ranking official. We don’t yet know whether or not Clovis has been indicted. We know Robert Mueller is focused on Michael Flynn’s alleged kidnapping plot. We don’t yet know where Mueller has gotten with it, or how soon Flynn might be arrested. For all we know Flynn (or others) could have been secretly arrested already – just as Papadopoulos was arrested in July and we didn’t learn about it until late October.

The current relative quiet isn’t a sign that the Trump-Russia investigation has slowed down, or that Robert Mueller is on vacation. We’ve seen enough evidence over the past eleven days to know that things are intensifying, broadening, and accelerating behind the scenes. Even as we impatiently await the next bombshell, we know this much for sure: the bombshells, whenever they may land, will only serve to get bigger from here on out.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report