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Kirschner: ‘We Are Going to See More Indictments’ From Mueller

Recent court filings by special counsel Robert Mueller show that he is planning to indict additional people for crimes related to 2016 election interference, according to Glenn Kirschner, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Mueller’s documents mentioned several “uncharged individuals” as well as “ongoing investigations” in the Paul Manafort case.  Last week sought to keep evidence secret from people — probably Russians — not yet charged but suspected of trying to “interfere with lawful U.S. government functions.” This is clear evidence that additional indictments are coming, said Kirschner. “My hunch is that we are going to see more indictments of Russians,” he added.

Kirschner’s comments were reported in The Hill.

Robert Mueller has already charged 13 Russians individuals and three Russian companies with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Their actions were part of a widespread Russian intelligence action which included the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm that manipulated social media to push divisive propaganda during the 2016 campaign in order to help Donald Trump get elected president.

Two Washington attorneys have been hired to represent Concord Management and Consulting, which allegedly funded the troll operation.  Legal experts think that Russia plans to obtain sensitive discovery documents from the U.S. attorneys as part of the legal proceedings. They would then use these documents to further the conspiracy and help their own legal interests.

Mueller objected last week to the Russian company’s request for “sensitive” documents through pretrial discovery, and that court filing revealed that some U.S. government evidence had already been released as part of a disinformation campaign. The campaign tried to misuse legally obtained documents to discredit the special counsel investigation.

Mueller has also argued that doing away with restrictions on disclosure of those documents would give the Russians evidence about “uncharged individuals and entities” suspected of possible crimes “like those activities charged in the indictment.” This could severely harm his prosecution efforts going forward.

Mueller wrote in his recent court filing that the information he has in his possession could jeopardize “sources, methods and techniques” used to identify those foreign suspects, and put U.S. intelligence gathering at risk. 

More than two dozen Russians and six Trump associates have been charged as part of the special counsel investigation, and a dozen more Russian intelligence officers have also been charged with hacking the Democratic National Committee and U.S. election infrastructure.

Acting attorney general Matt Whitaker has said Mueller’s probe was “close” to completion, echoing comments by the president’s personal attorneys, but legal experts say “all outward signs” suggest the investigation was “still active and ongoing.”

“I think there is reason to believe something else is coming, Randall Eliason, a George Washington University law professor, told The Hill. “I just don’t see any outward signs this investigation is close to wrapping up.”

Because Bob Mueller does not make public statements, we must use his formal court filings as a way to obtain information about what he is doing and what he is planning to do in the future. This process is similar to reading tea leaves, because we have to interpret the little information Mueller gives us now to predict what he will do next.

Despite these limitations, Mueller has given us enough information to be sure about one thing: He is not finished with his probe, and there will be more indictments coming from his office in the near future.

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