Monday, March 5, 2018

It's Mueller Time, Con't

Axios's Jon Swan gives us something that could be a major leak in the Mueller probe: a list of communications related to a Grand Jury subpoena.

Axios has reviewed a Grand Jury subpoena that Robert Mueller's team sent to a witness last month.

What Mueller is asking for: Mueller is subpoenaing all communications — meaning emails, texts, handwritten notes, etc. — that this witness sent and received regarding the following people:
  1. Carter Page
  2. Corey Lewandowski
  3. Donald J. Trump
  4. Hope Hicks
  5. Keith Schiller
  6. Michael Cohen
  7. Paul Manafort
  8. Rick Gates
  9. Roger Stone
  10. Steve Bannon 
The subpoena asks for all communications from November 1, 2015, to the present. Notably, Trump announced his campaign for president five months earlier — on June 16, 2015.

If this is true (and the Mueller probe has been pretty damn good up until now with leaks, so I have some mild doubts) then the question becomes who's the witness, who is the person not on this list who would know everyone else and would have the pull to communicate directly with all these people, including Trump, and was with the Trump campaign since November 2015?

The obvious answer at first glance is former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, but we already know there's a 99.99% chance he's cooperating given the only charge he's facing is lying to the FBI, so Mueller wouldn't need to issue a subpoena as he already has Flynn by the short hairs.  It's most likely not him.

It could in theory be Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but this is a pretty wide-ranging list.  Sessions may be an unapologetic antebellum Southern good-ol'-boy racist, but he isn't personally sloppy enough to leave all this communication around in an e-mail trail, particularly with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.  He doesn't really have a reason to communicate with Schiller (Trump's former bodyguard) or Roger Stone, so it's not Sessions, either.

It could be Donald Trump Jr., he seems like the kind of guy (unlike Sessions) to be this sloppy and he does know all these people and could communicate with them, but if that were true, well, the guy can't keep his mouth shut as he's just like his dad.  We'd know if he had been subpoenaed as he'd be screaming on Twitter about it.  Junior seems unlikely to be the witness here as a result.

So who is it?

My guess is the witness in question is Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.  He's under the most pressure right now from all the events last week.  We know Mueller is concentrating on him as the nexus of the Russian involvement in the 2016 election, the international money laundering, and the resulting obstruction of justice cover-up.  He would definitely have the clout to communicate directly with all ten of the above people, and he definitely would have been involved in the Trump campaign from November 2015 until now.  He fits all the criteria.

But the bigger question is how Mueller would be able to confirm all of Jared's communications with all these people.  You would almost think that the FBI has investigations into all the people on that list that it could use to confirm the witness was indeed providing the information in the subpoena.

That's what really makes me think the witness in question is Kushner.  He's the most important name not on the list, who isn't known to be cooperating, and there's just too much bad news coming out about him now to make me think this isn't an avalanche of pressure designed to get him to play ball.

Stay tuned.

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