Throughout his investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has relied on a mix of voluntary cooperation, subpoenas, and arrests in order to get his hands on the evidence and testimony required to gradually build a cadre of criminal cases in the Trump-Russia scandal. Now we’ve reached the stage where Mueller is dropping the subpoena hammer on Trump himself, by going after Trump’s official campaign records.
Trump’s campaign had been voluntarily turning over some records requested by Mueller. But now things have dramatically changed, and Mueller has sent a subpoena to the Trump campaign, according to a new Wall Street Journal report (link). This strongly suggests that Mueller has begun getting close enough to the heart of the scandal that the campaign has decided to stop voluntarily giving him what he wants. With the gloves now off, Mueller is now forcibly going after Donald Trump directly, because a subpoena issued to the campaign is essentially a subpoena issued to Trump himself. But there’s more.
Although the WSJ is just now breaking this story, it turns out Mueller sent the subpoena around a month ago, and it’s just now becoming public. This is the latest instance of Mueller being several steps ahead of the media and the public when it comes to some of the most drastic steps he’s taking.
For instance, after Robert Mueller had the FBI raid Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s house in the middle of the night, that news didn’t leak out for weeks. He also arrested Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in July, but didn’t reveal the arrest until October, by which time Papadopoulos had already pleaded guilty and was deep into cooperating with the investigation. Whatever is going on with Mueller’s subpoena of Trump and his campaign, it’s likely progressed far beyond what is publicly known.