On its anniversary, Mueller's investigation isn't close to finished

On its anniversary, Mueller's investigation isn't close to finished

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The subpoenas to Sullivan were one more piece of evidence that Mueller seems to be interested in the question of whether Stone also had advanced knowledge of the hacked emails, something he denies. Stone has said he has not been interviewed by the special counsel’s office.

Mueller is expected to file charges eventually against some of the Russians who hacked and leaked. The big question is whether he will charge any Americans with helping.

NBC News reported in March that Mueller’s team has enough evidence and is considering charges accusing Russians, including Russian intelligence officials, of violating U.S. of statutes on conspiracy, election law and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Such an indictment would lay out the Russian scheme to hack the Democrats and leak embarrassing emails, much as his previous indictment of Russians exposed an alleged conspiracy to manipulate American social media.

That move would be important for two reasons. One, it would establish the crime at the heart of the matter, and make it easier to establish that Trump obstructed justice, if in fact there is evidence to prove that. Two, it would make it easier to charge any American who helped the Russians as a co-conspirator, even if they didn’t participate in the actual hacking and leaking.

Mueller is almost certainly sitting on some explosive secrets.

The leak of a one report from the U.S. Treasury detailing payments to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen exposed what looked like influence peddling and payments from a firm linked to a Russian oligarch.

That single Treasury document pales in comparison to the trove of financial records Mueller’s team is believed to have obtained on Donald Trump, including his tax returns, banking records and phone records, legal expert say.

Image: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort attends a motion hearing at the US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his lawyer Kevin Downing arrive for a motion hearing at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 4, 2018. Manafort has been charged with tax and fraud violations.Shawn Thew / EPA

That means Mueller likely already knows the answers to many lingering questions about Trump’s finances, including how the real estate mogul was able to pay cash for European golf courses and other purchases in recent years, after a history of being heavily leveraged.

We still don’t know what the cooperators — Flynn, Gates and Papadopoulos — have given Mueller in exchange for being allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges.

It’s likely, legal observers say, that there are some bombshells coming.

How those bombshells will be delivered — in more indictments, or a report to Congress, or some other fashion — is one of the many unanswered questions about the Mueller investigation.

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