Robert Mueller’s next big move

Donald Trump is lost in a haze over the holidays, yelling angry things about Christmas while publicly harassing the Deputy Director of the FBI. Trump has lost all track of what the Trump-Russia investigation is really about, if he ever had any grasp of it to begin with. Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is quietly but aggressively plotting his next big move. He’s been using secrecy to his advantage, in order to keep Trump guessing in between Mueller’s master strokes. That’s also left the American public largely in the dark, out of necessity. But Mueller’s next big move isn’t that difficult to figure out.

Despite what some Twitter pundits keep insinuating, Mueller can’t simply yell the word “treason” and have a trap door magically open up under Trump. Instead he has to build the most comprehensive and convincing criminal case of all time, because the ouster of a sitting president is still a political process no matter what evidence is involved.

Mueller only gave a deal to Michael Flynn for one reason: Flynn’s ability and willingness to provide evidence against bigger fish in the Trump-Russia scandal. Based on the overlapping Russia connections between Flynn and Jared Kushner, the evidence that’s begun leaking about Kushner, and the weird moves Kushner has made since Flynn’s deal, it’s easy to deduce that Kushner is in fact Mueller’s new target. Moreover, based on his behavior, Kushner knows he’s the target. So what gives?

In any given prosecution of Trump’s underlings, Robert Mueller is hoping to cut a deal which will provide evidence against Donald Trump. That’s a much quicker process than having to go trial and get information out of the person the hard way. So Mueller is surely trying to convince Jared Kushner to cut a deal, and he’ll give him some leeway as far as coming around. If Kushner were flatly refusing, Mueller would likely have arrested him by now. So it’s probably a good sign that Mueller is still waiting, because it suggests Kushner is being receptive to a deal. However, Mueller won’t wait forever. Tick tock.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report