There are the stories that make their way to the forefront of media coverage because they sound important in the moment or they make for good ratings. Then there are the stories that should have gotten more coverage than they did, because they’ll end up being crucial. This past week, full of noise and bombast and misdirection, was a potent reminder of that disparity. Here are the three crucial Trump-Russia stories you may have missed, and why they matter.
As per usual, the biggest news in the Trump-Russia scandal continues to arrive on Friday. This time around we received the revealing news from the Washington Post that Jared Kushner is hiring a crisis management company (link). This means he knows he’s about to be arrested, or he’s about to cut a deal, or he’s otherwise about to face a reputational crisis. In other words, even as all the noise about Mueller supposedly being fired plays out on cable television, Mueller is actually about to take down Trump’s son-in-law.
In another major development, Mueller has seized Michael Flynn’s banking records from Deutsche Bank, according to the Wall Street Journal (link). Why does this matter? Mueller already has a plea deal with Flynn. There is no need for him to continue chasing down Flynn’s every last possible transgression – unless those transgressions are going to help expose crimes committed by someone like Donald Trump or Jared Kushner. Deutsche Bank has floated questionable loans to both of those men, and it has a history of facilitating Russian money laundering. Mueller seems to think Flynn’s banking records will give him the evidence he needs against a bigger fish.
The third crucial underreported Trump-Russia story this week is that Marco Rubio and Bob Corker both basically announced their campaigns for president in 2020 on Friday (link). This means they don’t think Donald Trump will still be in office by 2020, and even if Mike Pence inherits the presidency, they don’t think he’ll survive to run as the incumbent in 2020 either. Are we looking at back to back impeachments?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report