As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s complex investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal continues to progress, he’s approaching the point in his case where he may be ready to begin handing down indictments. Now that it’s nearing put-up-or-shut-up time, some have questioned what Mueller is really up to, and whether the indictments will happen. There may be no better way to answer that question than to ask someone who’s been there before.
Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel in charge of the investigation into Bill Clinton, appeared on CNN on Saturday to discuss potential parallels between his investigation and Mueller’s probe. Starr cited Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn by name before saying “I have a sense that there will, in fact, be indictments.” (link). This is crucial because Mueller’s entire reason to indict and try the likes of Flynn and Manafort is to get to Trump.
If any Trump underling can be pressured into flipping on Trump, it will give Mueller first-hand witnesses to Trump’s involvement in a slew of confirmed and alleged crimes that occurred before, during and after the election. For instance, Manafort and Flynn can testify as to Trump’s knowledge of their collusive activities with Russia during the election, in the hope of a lesser sentence. Several of Trump’s White House advisers can testify as to what they witnessed when Trump was crafting a statement about his son’s meeting with the Russian government, if they’re facing potential indictments for conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The first indictment(s) could be what sets off the dominoes. If even for instance Paul Manafort is indicted but doesn’t immediately flip, the fact that Robert Mueller is proceeding with criminal prosecution could motivate other Trump underlings to panic and go ahead and flip themselves. Mueller can’t start those dominoes until all his ducks are in a row – but from there things should begin to progress quickly. The end goal will be to take down Donald Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report