Even as the Senate Judiciary Committee moves forward with issuing subpoenas to two uncooperative FBI agents in its investigation into Donald Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, it appears the committee now feels another aspect of the investigation is safe in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s hands. One key Senator on the committee says that he’s done trying to get Paul Manafort to cooperate, because Manafort is getting indicted anyway.
Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary, was asked about Manafort during a gaggle with television reporters. His answer, which aired on CNN and MSNBC, was “I don’t know whether it’s worth issuing subpoenas when somebody’s been indicted – if there’s any value in that – if you get any outcome out of it.” When he was asked what he knew about Manafort being indicted, he stated that he was merely repeating what he’d heard on television along with the rest of us. But there may be more to it.
Grassley specifically said that Manafort has “been indicted” which is different than what’s been reported, which is that Mueller has informed Manafort he’s about to be indicted. So either Grassley misspoke, or he just let slip that Manafort has already been indicted. There is such a thing as a sealed indictment which can be opened later, so it is possible that the indictment is indeed already in place. But regardless of whether Grassley misspoke or not, his sentiment points to just how far along – and just how well coordinated – these efforts are.
Despite almost weekly headlines from major news outlets making breathless claims that Mueller and Congress are butting heads, none of those headlines have been backed up with any substance. In contrast, the Senate Intel Committee now appears willing to simply let Mueller finish off Paul Manafort while it focuses on other aspects of the Trump-Russia scandal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report