After more than 20 months of digging, issuing subpoenas, interviewing witnesses, getting indictments, making plea deals, and achieving felony convictions in federal court, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly nearing the end of his investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign for their connections to Russians during the 2016 election. Whether one week away or one month away, the Trump White House is said to be steeling itself for Mueller’s report. The end is near.
If neither Trump nor his henchmen have done anything wrong, he won’t have anything to worry about. But six men who worked for Trump in various capacities have pled guilty and have been sentenced to federal prison, or are awaiting sentencing, or have already served time. That’s not to mention the 26 Russian nationals, including 12 agents for the Russian intelligence service the GRU, who have also been indicted, along with several other individuals. There has been speculation for weeks that Mueller has more indictments to bring, and he has moved to delay sentencing for several Trump associates whom he is still interviewing or taking before his grand jury in Washington D.C., which recently received an extension of its term upon a request by Mueller.
But it’s not the report of the Special Counsel to the Attorney General that Trump should be worried about. The charter of Mueller’s investigation is narrow, limited to crimes arising out of Russian interference in the campaign of 2016 and the connections of Trump and his campaign to the Russians. Many have pointed out that the indictments Mueller has brought read like a complex narrative of the connections between the Trump campaign and Russians. We already know who stole the Democrats’ emails, how they were distributed, and who among Trump’s associates actually met with Russians during the campaign. What we don’t yet know is what took place during those meetings and whether Trump himself directed, participated in, or knew about these encounters, such as the infamous Trump Tower meeting between six Russians with connections to Kremlin intelligence and Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman.