The reports are coming. Once the midterm elections are over, special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to deliver his conclusions on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia and whether President Trump obstructed justice, CNN and Bloomberg reported this week.
That doesn’t mean Mueller’s probe will be over — or that the public will even see the answers to those bombshell questions. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will receive the reports, and he has some discretion about what details to share with Congress. But it brings us a few steps closer to the close of a messy scandal that has dominated U.S. politics for the past two years.
Rosentein told the Wall Street Journal this week that “at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence and that it was an appropriate use of resources.”
Meanwhile, the investigation continues and the cases that grew out of it move forward. Paul Manafort appeared in a Virginia courtroom Friday, sitting in a wheelchair due to “significant issues” with his health. The former Trump campaign chairman wore a green jail uniform, having lost a motion to appear in court in a suit.
At the hearing, Judge T.S. Ellis set a February 8, 2019 sentencing date and dismissed the 10 counts on which the jury was deadlocked in the case. Mueller’s team had asked to wait to tie up these loose ends until Manafort was finished cooperating with government prosecutors, but Ellis insisted on handling the probe by the books.
Some of that questioning has involved pressing Manafort on what he knows about Roger Stone’s ties to WikiLeaks and the leak of Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails, per ABC News.
Mueller’s team has also held two secret sealed hearings in D.C. with Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who oversees court action related to the federal grand jury that the special counsel has used to approve indictments.
Russian national Elena Khusyaynova was indicted Friday for conspiracy against the U.S. for trying to interfere in various U.S. election cycles, including the 2018 midterms. She was apparently working for Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin who funded the troll farm that worked to influence the 2016 presidential race.
Michael Cohen met this week with law enforcement officials from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the New York Attorney General’s office, both of which are currently probing Trump-related entities.
Cohen also advised voters to support Democrats in the midterms to avoid more years of GOP-induced “craziness.”
Former Senate intelligence committee staffer James Wolfe pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contact he had with a reporter about the ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson refused to speak to the GOP-led House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, dismissing the probes as a “charade.” His firm compiled the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.
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