A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.
The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.
As Special Counsel, Mueller has led the investigation into Russian collusion and potential obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump and his associates, since James Comey’s firing in May. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller and has ultimate oversight, due to AG Jeff Sessions’ recusal. Rosenstein would have been aware of the charges before filing.
While nothing is yet known about these charges, it is known that the investigative team has been examining former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, and others over ties to Russia. So that could be an indication as to who if not yet what.
Following the back and forth this week over the Russia-Trump dossier, this is certain to only enflame the situation even more. Some will take these charges as proof of Trump’s guilt, and others will instantly scream witch hunt. But political wishcasting doesn’t make them true or false. That is the purpose of a trial.
Any charges against individuals should be seen as just that – charges against INDIVIDUALS. They don’t prove anything one way or the other regarding anyone else. With that being said, it is not uncommon to have indicted persons flip and start testifying against bosses and colleagues. So depending on what happens, more dominos could fall and bigger fish could be caught, which may be Mueller’s ultimate goal here. Only time will tell.