First Charges in Russian Probe Investigation Have Been Filed, Awaiting Names

October 28, 2017Oct 28, 2017

he first charges in the Mueller investigation concerning whether the Trump administration colluded with the Russians have been filed. It isn’t yet clear who those charges are against. A spokesman for the investigation declined to comment.

According to Fox News, the indictment is still sealed under orders from a federal judge, although the Wall Street Journal reports that as early as Monday a person could be taken into custody.

Rumors have surfaced over who might be the target of the charges, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort or possibly former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Manafort’s house was raised by FBI agents earlier this summer.

Manafort’s history in his dealings with Ukraine has been the subject of a longstanding investigation by the FBI. Fox News reports that Manafort did not file as a foreign agent until 2017 in his dealings with that country. In addition to his home being raided, he was also wiretapped by investigators before and after the 2016 presidential election.

Flynn’s dealings with Russia are also under scrutiny. As a retired Army lieutenant general, Flynn acted as a surrogate for Trump during his campaign before being fired for his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Flynn had served briefly as Trump’s national security adviser before being fired.

Previously, Mueller has sought information on whether Flynn worked privately to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian Hackers. At the time, she was serving as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Though the charges haven’t been made clear, someone as early as Monday could be brought before the grand jury. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is believed to know who those charges have been levied against, under the regulations governing special counsel investigations. Rosenstein has previously had oversight over the Russian investigation.

CNN reports that on Friday top lawyers who were helping to lead the probe met with veteran prosecutor’s Andrew Weissman in the court room at the DC federal court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation.

The investigation was initiated by James Comey in July 2016 during the presidential campaign. After Trump fired Comey, who was serving as FBI director, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

Under the orders of the investigation, Mueller is authorized to explore “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” according to Rosenstien’s order.

The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, as well as if Trump, as president, obstructed justice while the investigation was being conducted. One of the areas investigators are examining include Trump’s financial ties to Russia.

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