Whenever Donald Trump learns that a Trump-Russia bombshell is about to hit the newswires, he tries to gin up some kind of controversial distraction in the hope that fewer people will pay attention to the story when it breaks. For the past few days, Trump has been threatening nuclear war against North Korea in the mother of all distractions. And now we know why: the FBI, under the direction of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has raided Paul Manafort’s home.
Although the news is just now surfacing today thanks to a Washington Post report (link), the FBI raid actually took place more than a week ago, on July 26th. This was just one day after Manafort had testified privately before Congress about the Trump-Russia scandal.
This strongly suggests that Paul Manafort slipped up and gave something away during his Congressional testimony, which was immediately picked up on by the Special Counsel’s office, and led to an FBI raid of his home the next morning in order to retrieve whatever documents Manafort had unwittingly made them aware of. Coincidentally, I explained in an article last night that this is largely why the House and Senate probes into Trump-Russia still exist, even though the Special Counsel is now running the show (link). But of the course the real upshot here is how the takedown of Manafort impacts Donald Trump himself.
Mueller’s strategy with various Trump associates including Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn appears to be that he’ll indict and prosecute them for their own various alleged crimes, in the hope of getting them to flip on Donald Trump in order to save themselves. So every step the Special Counsel and the FBI take against someone like Manafort puts them one tangible step closer to taking Trump down. No wonder Trump tried to create a huge North Korea distraction when he learned that this Manafort story was about to surface.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report