The expanding breadth of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal is making clear that he’s leaving no stone unturned. The reasoning is straightforward enough: all he needs is one key witness to flip and cut a deal, setting off a chain reaction that ultimately leads to witnesses testifying against Trump himself. As of this evening, it appears Mueller has now found a witness who’s willing take everyone down with him.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey was a member of the Donald Trump campaign and the transition team, before abruptly resigning without proper explanation. It was then revealed that Woolsey had been dragged into various sketchy moments during his time within the campaign. The most notable was when Trump’s campaign adviser Michael Flynn took Woolsey to a meeting with Turkish government representatives, where a scheme was discussed which involved kidnapping a Turkish man in Pennsylvania and shipping him to Turkey for prosecution. Now Mueller has tapped Woolsey on the shoulder, and indications are that Woolsey will simply hand Mueller whatever – and whoever – he wants.
Here’s how NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian framed this evening’s development: “Former CIA Director James Woolsey tells NBC News he has been in contact with FBI, Mueller’s office re alleged scheme by Flynn re Gulen” (link). Here’s how national security expert and CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem responded to that news: “Woolsey quit unexpectedly during transition. I have known him for two decades. Love him or hate him, he is not going down alone.” (link). So what now?
If Kayyem is correct, it means that James Woolsey will promptly give up Michael Flynn to Robert Mueller, in exchange for immunity or leniency. This will make it much easier for Mueller to move forward with the prosecution of Flynn on charges along the lines of conspiracy to kidnap, as he’ll have a reliable eyewitness in hand. Unless Flynn wants to die in prison, he’ll then have no choice but to flip on Donald Trump. Woolsey appears to be the domino Mueller has been looking for. Update: five minutes after we published this article, CNN confirmed that Mueller has filed criminal charges. More to come.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report