It Begins: Special Counsel Mueller Files First Charges In Russia Investigation

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Special counsel Robert Mueller, backed by a federal grand jury, has filed the first charges in his investigation into the Trump campaign and administration’s dealings with Russia, according to a report Friday night by CNN later confirmed by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal. At least one individual could be taken into custody as early as Monday. Both the names of the person or person and the charges filed against them remain for now under a judge’s seal.

Mueller—who was appointed by the Justice Department in May in the wake of Trump firing FBI Director James Comey and boasting to Russian officials about it—has since then conducted a broad investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump or anyone his network colluded with Russia or attempted to obstruct the investigation.

That broad mandate has led him to explore the foreign lobbying work of Trump’s campaign associates, the many White House officials involved in the decision to fire Comey, and the Trump Organization’s foreign businesses dealings. 

Friday’s announcement marks the first official charges filed as a result of the investigation, which Trump has repeatedly dismissed as a “witch hunt.”


Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.