Now that Hope Hicks has spent two full days cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and Donald Trump has figured out that it means she’s given him up, he’s throwing a tantrum. Trump is suddenly stomping his feet and making new demands that he can’t legally make or enforce. Yet some of his own top White House staffers will likely go along with it, meaning they might as well report directly to prison.
Trump has announced through his attorneys today that he’ll no longer allow any more of his current White House advisers to be interviewed by Mueller. Even though it’s been reported by several major news outlets and came straight from Trump’s own attorney’s mouth, it’s still an incredible development. Trump doesn’t have the legal power to block his employees from speaking to Mueller. More importantly, Mueller does have the legal power to compel all of these people to sit down with him.
Mueller can simply get subpoenas for all of Trump’s people to testify, and if they fail to cooperate, he can have them arrested for their failure to cooperate. Are any of Trump’s advisers dumb enough to get themselves arrested out of blind loyalty? We’re about to find out, but it may not matter from Mueller’s perspective. Trump is throwing a tantrum because he knows Hicks gave him up for obstruction of justice, which means it’s too late.
Robert Mueller has also already gotten to White House Counsel Don McGahn, White House adviser Stephen Miller, and former White House advisers Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer. Based on how long their interviews lasted, it appears they were all fully cooperative – which would mean that they gave Donald Trump up for obstruction as well. Keep in mind none of these staffers were necessarily involved in the Russia scandal, only the coverup. Mueller already has his star collusion witness, Michael Flynn, in hand.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report