The secret of why exactly Trump appears to be growing so desperate in the face of his former aides’ mutiny – by midday Friday the president had tweeted seven times about Mueller – promises to be revealed in the final act.
The drama meanwhile, has heated up aggressively in the last week – with former Trump adviser Roger Stone invoking fifth amendment protections to maintain his silence and Mueller unveiling the extent of Cohen’s co-operation – writing approvingly of Flynn’s conduct and explaining to a judge how Manafort allegedly tried to outsmart him.
To a certain set of federal prosecutors the visible struggle between Trump and Mueller for the loyalty of former Trump aides is familiar – because it is straight out of the playbook for prosecuting organized crime.
‘The decision to cooperate with prosecutors always comes down to loyalty’ said Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor from the southern district of New York who helped dismantle the Sicilian mafia.
‘Who are you going to prioritize?’ Honig said.
‘Are you going to cooperate and minimize your own exposure and likely minimize the pain and emotional and financial hardship on your family – or are you going to stay loyal to the people who you committed crimes with?’