(National Sentinel) Swamp Thing: In the seven months since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to look into alleged collusion between Team Trump and Russia, he’s found nothing to substantiate the claim.
Rather, Mueller has expanded his limitless probe to all things Team Trump and Russia, including the financial dealings of then-GOP candidate Donald J. Trump’s campaign associates.
One of Trump’s associates who has been charged with financial crimes thus far is former campaign manager Paul Manafort, along with his erstwhile business partner Rick Gates, both of whom have pleaded not guilty.
However, Mueller may not be done with his charges against Manafort, at least. He could file what is called a superseding indictment of both men, according to The Daily Beast.
“I would expect a superseding indictment to come down relatively soon,” said Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University’s law school.
“There was much in the narrative of the indictment that referenced crimes not charged,” he told the news site. “Prosecutors will often issue a superseding indictment as the grand jury continues its work. There’s also a tactical reason for this, that superseding indictments tend to grind defendants a bit more over time.”
A superseding indictment essentially replaces the initial indictment, say legal experts. And in the initial indictment of Manafort and Gates, Mueller’s team hinted they could file additional charges in the future.
That now appears more likely:
Federal prosecutors can bring charges against any American who has money in a foreign bank account and doesn’t check a box on their tax forms disclosing it. The Manafort/Gates indictment describes financial behavior that may be liable for that kind of prosecution. And that’s an indicator that Mueller’s team may be preparing to formally charge both men with violating tax laws.
But Mueller isn’t playing by the normal rules, say critics, and that’s thanks in large part to the limitless mandate he was given by Rosenstein.
For example, a former prosecutor from the Justice Department’s tax division said Mueller handed down what’s known as a “speaking indictment,” or one that contains more information that necessary.
“It’s a way of dirtying up a defendant without having to actually prove the conduct,” he said. “I think, in fairness to them, they probably rushed it because they didn’t want to wait for the tax division approval on those tax counts. That, I assume, would be working its way through the system.”
A growing number of congressional Republicans, convinced that Mueller’s probe is what Trump says it is — a “witch hunt” — are said to be planning a comprehensive report that seeks to build criminal cases against senior FBI and Justice Department figures who appear to have plotted to keep Trump out of office.
One of the names mentioned is FBI counterintelligence investigator Peter Strzok, whom Mueller had on his team until anti-Trump texts and details of an “insurance policy” to prevent Trump from taking office were discovered.
As noted by Newsmax, the report would highlight the conduct of some FBI officials into last year’s investigation of suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, people familiar with the plans have said.
This would come as Republican supporters of President Donald J. Trump in Congress have stepped up efforts to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s “collusion” probe amid allegations of anti-Trump bias on his prosecutorial and investigative team.
Trump’s lawyers have doubled down on an earlier prediction that the portion of Mueller’s investigation having to do with their client will soon come to an end.
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