fter the announcement Friday, October 27 that arrests were coming in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation, speculation mounted over the weekend as to who it would be, and how initial charges would go.
As it turns out, Mueller is using a strategy honed by law enforcement officials over the last few decades: Wrap up the little guys with easy-to-prove charges that come with significant jail time, and then flip them into state witnesses to solidify a case against their bosses.
After Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were arrested on Monday, with another campaign member, George Papadopoulos, pleading guilty to his own charges, team Trump really started to panic. That’s probably the right reaction, and even some Republicans are acknowledging how deep this trouble is likely to go for the Trump administration. It’s far from over. In the words of Senator John McCain (R-AZ), “more shoes are going to drop.” From Talking Points Memo:
‘Three Republican senators told TPM on Tuesday that they oppose calls from former White House adviser Steve Bannon to defund Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and administration and the Russian government. Because Republicans only have a 52-seat majority in the Senate, those three would be enough to block such a bill from passage if it ever came to the Senate floor.’
‘“I would oppose, and so would the American people,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Tuesday. “The American people want a complete and thorough investigation. That’s one thing I know.”
‘Stepping into the Senate elevators, he repeated his usual metaphor for Mueller’s investigation and the crimes it may uncover going forward. “It’s a centipede,” he quipped. “More shoes are going to drop.”’
TPM is right to call that statement his “usual metaphor.” It’s not the first occasion on which he’s used it – and time and time again, he’s been right.
Back in March, when discussing changes to the Republican platform on CNN, Senator McCain pointed out one of the early signs of Trump being beholden to Russian interests, according to POLITICO:
‘In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” McCain said he was troubled by a number of things with Russia, including the Republican Party removing a call for defensive weapons to Ukraine from its official platform.
‘“Clearly, it was not the will of most Republicans,” McCain said. “There’s a lot of aspects with this whole relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin that requires further scrutiny, and so far I don’t think the American people have gotten all the answers. In fact, I think there’s a lot of shoes to drop from this centipede.”’
Here’s video via CNN:
‘“This scandal is going to go on. I’ve seen it before,” McCain told a meeting of the Munich Security Conference core group. “This is a centipede. I guarantee you there will be more shoes to drop, I can just guarantee it. There’s just too much information that we don’t have that will be coming out.”
‘He called Trump’s actions against Comey “unprecedented” and said the position of FBI director has held special meaning in American public life dating back decades.
‘“I remember the Saturday Night Massacre,” McCain told the mostly European and American guests, referring to the 1973 incident when President Nixon fired the special prosecutor looking into the Watergate break-in, Archibald Cox.’
And even more recently, when Trump Jr.’s email scandal – where he implicated himself in what was clearly an attempt to collude – he employed the expression yet again. From Business Insider:
‘”Another shoe just dropped,” McCain told a CNN reporter outside a Senate office in Washington. “There’ll be many more shoes that drop.”
‘The emails, which Trump Jr. posted on Twitter Tuesday morning after learning The New York Times was preparing to publish them, reveal how a British music publicist with ties to President Trump offered to arrange a meeting between Trump Jr. and the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
‘Trump Jr. is promised incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, and the publicist makes clear the information is “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”‘
He may be using it a bit too much, but we’ll forgive him. After all, shoes keep dropping, and the Trump administration is remarkably like a centipede.
Here’s a video of Senator McCain slamming the Trump administration’s lack of leadership in a recent speech at the US Naval Academy:
Senator McCain also made his stance clear with his reaction to Flake’s resignation speech on the Senate floor, where he said he would not be seeking reelection. You can watch both McCain’s reaction and the speech itself below:
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images