Today we learned from the New York Times that the federal investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal first began in early 2016 when Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos drunkenly let the cat out of the bag to an Australian diplomat. This is remarkable, only because it’s yet another Trump-Russia plot point that seems straight out of an airport gift shop spy novel, but also because this information was so well guarded until it needed to be revealed.
It’s a reminder that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his FBI team are far ahead of the game. It’s also just the latest of many such reminders. For instance, he had Papadopoulos arrested in July of 2017, but he somehow managed to keep it under wraps until he strategically chose to reveal it four months later. These are, of course, just the isolated instances that we know about. The other proverbial cats are still in the bag, and for good reason. This has prompted one prominent Congressman to point out just how far out in front Mueller truly is.
Congressman Ted Lieu, a former military prosecutor who sits on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, shared this thought after the NY Times story broke: “Keep in mind no one was really aware of George Papadopoulos until his guilty plea was revealed. That tells us Special Counsel Mueller knows far more than people think. And Papadopoulos is cooperating with Mueller. The White House should be scared.”
What specifically should be scaring Donald Trump and his team? For one thing, they have no idea who else Robert Mueller may have secretly arrested. They don’t know who else may have cut plea deals, and who may be spying on them. They don’t know what physical evidence Mueller is sitting on. But mostly, they don’t even have any way of knowing what they’re supposed to fear the most. Mueller has them all living in fear, not only so he can stay ahead of them as his investigation plows forward, but because that fear will cause them to crumble and turn against each other as things progress.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report