On Friday night, several major news outlets confirmed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be arresting one or more people in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal on Monday. That’s led to a weekend of speculation and best guesses as to which individual or individuals will be arrested. Now comes a report that Monday’s arrest(s) will be just the first of many more arrests as the week goes on.
CNN, Reuters, NBC News and others have all confirmed that Robert Mueller filed Trump-Russia criminal charges on Friday night after having received an indictment from a grand jury in Washington DC. Mueller has also been running Trump-Russia grand juries in Virginia (confirmed) and New York (reported). So it doesn’t come as a surprise to see today’s report from the Democratic Coalition that “Multiple sources tell me this is the ‘first of many’ indictments against Trump team members that will be rolled out this week.” (link). This serves to hint at Mueller’s overall strategy as his probe heads into a fundamentally new phase.
Although Mueller has tried to carry out his investigation behind the scenes as much as possible up to this point, filing criminal charges and arresting people means the point of no return. Although he’ll use the arrests to try to incrementally flip people against bigger fish, he’s likely to make a major splash right out of the gate. Donald Trump is surely planning some kind of pushback strategy once the first arrest happens, so Mueller’s best bet is to quickly carve up so many of Trump’s people that Trump will have a hard time making any sort of retaliatory argument to the public.
This means that regardless of which Trump-Russia player(s) get arrested on Monday, there appear to be more arrests coming as the week goes on. In other words, no one in Donald Trump’s orbit is safe this week, even if they don’t get swept up on Day One.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report