Special counsel Robert Mueller has referred in recent weeks to yet “uncharged individuals” in court papers, signaling that there could be more indictments on the way, according to The Hill.
The special counsel referred to “uncharged individuals” in filings for two separate cases in his investigation of Russian election interference and alleged collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin. In each case, Mueller moved to keep information secret, a sign that he could be pursuing charges against more subjects.
Mueller probe status
Mueller has so far indicted six Trump associates and numerous Russians in his investigation of collusion, but no evidence of conspiracy has emerged. Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian “troll farms” last year with waging a disinformation campaign to interfere with U.S. elections.
U.S-based lawyers for a company accused of funding the disinformation campaign, Concord Management, made the rare move of contesting the charges in U.S. federal court, which was unexpected since the Russians would likely never be prosecuted.
The lawyers have been locked in a colorful court battle over discovery documents with the judge and Mueller, who said last week that some evidence made available to Concord through discovery had been leaked back to Russia as part of a disinformation campaign.
In a filing last week, Mueller denied a request to release sensitive evidence, saying that the documents dealt with still “uncharged individuals” who may have interfered with U.S. government operations.
Mueller also asked in a court document last month to hide evidence in Manafort’s case that is related to “ongoing law enforcement investigations or uncharged individuals.” Manafort pleaded guilty in September to crimes having to do with lobbying work in Ukraine, and he had been charged previously with financial crimes as well as accused by Mueller of lying to investigators.
Collusion evidence unlikely
Legal analysts told The Hill that Mueller’s memos could indicate more indictments are coming, or that more individuals are simply being investigated, so it could be a big nothing-burger.
Mueller hasn’t uncovered evidence of collusion yet, and if the past is any indication, any new indictments wouldn’t change anything there.
Trump campaign wizard Roger Stone was arrested and charged last month over process crimes relating to Mueller’s investigation. Like the charges against other Trump associates, Stone’s charges have nothing to do with collusion. And while Mueller may be investigating the Manafort and Russian troll cases further, neither have any link with collusion.
Speculation that Mueller’s investigation will soon end has been building, and anticipation of what his final report will contain — if it is even released publicly — has captivated public interest.
But those who hope the report will be grounds for Trump’s impeachment shouldn’t get too excited. Mueller’s probe may drag on for even longer than expected, but given what has been revealed so far, evidence of collusion isn’t anywhere on the horizon.