Although a number of congressional committee investigations are still plowing into various aspects of Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, it’s quietly become clear that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into Trump-Russia is taking precedence. So when the Senate Intelligence Committee abruptly postponed a key Trump-Russia hearing today without any explanation or any rescheduled date, it set off all the alarms.
After having spent weeks arranging it, the Senate Intel Committee announced today that it’s postponing – and essentially canceling for now – next week’s scheduled public testimony of Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen (link). The Senate already canceled Cohen’s testimony once, at the very last minute, after he released a statement to the media in violation of their agreement. This prompted the Senate to demand that he come back and testify in public. But this time around is different. If Cohen had run afoul of the committee again, its leaders would have said so. Instead they put out a generic statement thanking him for his “cooperation” – which hints at what may really be going on here.
Since it doesn’t appear that Cohen did anything wrong this time around, the only logical explanation is that the committee concluded his public testimony would do more harm than good at this time. Again, this is a major about-face from the committee’s previous bipartisan insistence that Cohen testify in public. This almost certainly means that Robert Mueller asked the committee to postpone it indefinitely, because something major is playing out on Mueller’s end.
We don’t yet have any way of knowing what that is. One hypothetical explanation would be that Michael Cohen has cut a deal and flipped on Donald Trump, which would make his public testimony inadvisable. Another explanation would be that Robert Mueller is about to drop the first Trump-Russia indictment next week, and he doesn’t want any public sideshows one way or the other. Stay tuned. Something transformative is about to happen next week.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report