News is breaking right now that will shake the Trump administration to the core.
According to the New York Times, when conducting an early raid of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s home in July, members of Mueller’s team told Manafort to “expect an indictment.” The implications for the Trump administration are, obviously, massive.
‘The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.’
‘Mr. Manafort is under investigation for possible violations of tax laws, money-laundering prohibitions and requirements to disclose foreign lobbying. Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, is being scrutinized for foreign lobbying work as well as for conversations he had last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. On Monday, Mr. Flynn’s siblings announced the creation of a legal-defense fund to help cover their brother’s ‘enormous’ legal fees.’
‘They seem to be pursuing this more aggressively, taking a much harder line, than you’d expect to see in a typical white collar case,’ said Jimmy Gurulé, a Notre Dame law professor and former federal prosecutor. ‘This is more consistent with how you’d go after an organized crime syndicate.’
What’s going to happen when Manafort is indicted? Well, a few things. For one, the prospect of Manafort flipping on Trump is a big one, and likely what Mueller is after. That’s most likely at the forefront of Trump’s mind, if previous actions are anything to go by. Trump has used friendly press to target people who he thinks might turn on him in the past.
Second, the Russia investigation will remain front and center when it comes to the news cycle. That’s going to drive Donald Trump crazy, and perhaps get him to go on some more of those self-incriminating Twitter rants.
Third, according to news breaking today from CNN, Manafort has been under surveillance for years, starting well before his work for Donald Trump:
‘The FBI interest in Manafort dates back at least to 2014, partly as an outgrowth of a US investigation of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president whose pro-Russian regime was ousted amid street protests. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions was accused of corruption, and Ukrainian authorities claimed he squirreled millions of dollars out of the country.’
Because the government was unable to press charges in that case, they have had to periodically re-apply for FISA warrants to continue surveilling Manafort. That has left gaps in the surveillance record — such as the now-infamous June 2016 meeting between Manafort, Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer acting on behalf of Russian interests. Manafort could fill those gaps.
Here’s another look at the timeline of that meeting, courtesy of MSNBC’s Chuck Todd:
Featured image via Bipartisan Report archives