Robert Mueller stunned the entire political world this morning with his early-morning arrest of Donald Trump’s oldest friend and associate, Roger Stone. The implications of this arrest, and the 24-page indictment of Stone obtained by Mueller in Washington last night, are not yet fully understood.
But there is increasing speculation that President Donald Trump himself may be mentioned in the indictment and thus may be involved in Stone’s crimes.
We have also reported that former Trump adviser Steve Bannon may be directly implicated in the criminal charges against Stone. This is because the detailed indictment describes communications between Stone and high-ranking campaign officials, including former campaign CEO Bannon.
The indictment alleges that Stone spoke often with top Trump campaign aides, including Bannon, about his efforts to get the Democratic emails stolen by Russian hackers published by WikiLeaks to harm Hillary Clinton and help Trump get elected.
In the indictment there is the following language which appears to describe the involvement of Donald Trump in Stone’s and Bannon’s nefarious activities:
“After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen [Democratic National Committee] emails by Organization 1 [WikiLeaks], a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign.”
As Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo has pointed out, if Bannon “was directed” to contact Stone, then this leads to a huge question:
Who directed Bannon?
“Key Question so far. Who “directed” Steve Bannon to reach out to Roger about Wikileaks. Needless to say, VERY short list of people who can “direct” the guy running the campaign”
Key Question so far. Who "directed" Steve Bannon to reach out to Roger about Wikileaks. Needless to say, VERY short list of people who can "direct" the guy running the campaign https://t.co/PafiU5G0vg via @TPM
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 25, 2019
And of course, as campaign CEO, Bannon was at the top of the org chart, with one exception: Donald Trump himself.
In other words, the indictment may point to the direct involvement of the President of the United States in the commission of crimes. If Bannon is guilty of any crimes, then so is Trump, because, according to Mueller, Bannon WAS DIRECTED to do what he did by someone higher up.
Former CIA Director John Brennan appeared on MSNBC this morning and said that he believes there will be more Mueller indictments coming soon, and they will involve people at ‘the top.” He said:
“I think the shoes that are yet to drop are going to be the ones that are going to be the most profound and that will hit the people at the top of the organization.”
And, as we wrote earlier:
“When a reference is made to “people at the top” of the Trump organization, it can only refer to the president and to his immediate family. The top people in Trump’s business, in his charity, and in his campaign included only Donald, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump.”
With the arrest of Stone, the implication of former campaign CEO Bannon in crimes, and the possible upcoming indictments of Trump’s children, you would think that there could be no more bad news that could hit the Trump White House. But you would be wrong.
There is indeed, possibly, one more devastating item of horrible news that the White House might have to deal with very soon: The president himself might soon be indicted by Robert Mueller.
Admittedly, we don’t know that for sure at this time, and as always with Mueller, we have to be patient and wait for his next move to be made public.
But one thing we do know for sure is that every word in Mueller’s indictments is given great consideration before it is used. So when he wrote “a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE” we know that this was not done accidentally.
Someone directed the senior official to contact Stone, and odds are that person was none other than Donald Trump himself.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.