“No one in the White House was prepared.”
That is how Politico began its article Friday afternoon, reporting that the White House legal team dealing with the Russia investigation, headed by Ty Cobb, was taken completely by surprise when former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI earlier in the day.
As Breitbart News had already more than a week ago, the New York Times reported on Thanksgiving that Flynn’s lawyers had terminated an agreement with President Donald Trump’s legal team to share information about the probe. As the Times noted, that termination would have made sense if Flynn had begun cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And, indeed, other reports in the days that followed seemed to indicate that was likely.
Yet somehow the White House lawyers reportedly failed to anticipate that Flynn would plead guilty to a minor charge in return for offering to testify against the president or members of his family and his inner circle.
Politico reported (emphasis added):
One person close to the White House described the mood this way: “What they’re freaked out about is that there are no leaks. Papadopoulos didn’t leak. Flynn didn’t leak. They feel like they can’t trust anyone. Their own counsel didn’t know.”
Cobb released a statement Friday in which he predicted that Mueller would be bringing his investigation to “a prompt and reasonable conclusion.” That echoed his earlier predictions that the probe would be over by Thanksgiving.
“[P]eople inside the White House are genuinely not concerned,” said one source to Politico.
Perhaps they are not concerned about charges relating to Russia collusion — for which there is no evidence — but Mueller has cast his net far wider, and certainly has more “surprises” in mind.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.