Even as Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller continue to plow their way through Donald Trump’s inner circle in an attempt at pressuring Trump’s underlings to flip on him, another more surprising angle has emerged. The Russians are now voluntarily cooperating with the investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal, in a manner which could end up taking down both Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
Mueller has been zeroing in on Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian government representatives – in which Junior sought dirt on Hillary Clinton – and on Donald Trump’s subsequent attempt at covering up the real reason for the meeting. Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, and other Trump people who were in the meeting, are still largely refusing to cooperate. But now the Russians who were in the meeting are cooperating with the investigation. This is a remarkable development, because these people wouldn’t need to cooperate unless they wanted to.
Some of the Russians at the meeting have now met with congressional investigators, according to a CNN report (link). Although details about Robert Mueller’s investigation rarely leak out, this means that these same Russians have almost certainly spoken with Mueller as well. They’re not U.S. citizens and they don’t reside in the United States, so U.S. investigators have little if any legal leverage over them – yet they’ve decided to cooperate anyway. Considering that the Russians in question all have relationships with Vladimir Putin, they wouldn’t be cooperating unless he wanted them to.
It’s still not clear precisely what information the Russians have given to Congress and Mueller. But the Russians are well aware that the investigators are trying to use the details of this meeting to nail Donald Trump Jr for collusion and to nail Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. By voluntarily providing any level of cooperation, the Russians have sold out them both.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report