Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said on CNN this morning that the statement by Robert Mueller that he is too busy to comply with a request to unseal redacted documents has revealed something big is in the works at the special counsel’s office.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller included a mysterious note in a court filing Tuesday that suggested his team of world-class prosecutors is working on a major project that will soon end.
The filing came in response to a request from the Washington Post to unseal the redacted records in Mueller’s case against Paul Manafort. The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced to over seven years in prison for crimes uncovered in the special counsel probe. Mueller was supposed to respond to this legal motion by tomorrow.
Instead, Mueller requested in yesterday’s filing that the deadline be extended to April 1. He added that attorneys for the Post did not objected to the delay. So Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the request.
What caught people’s attention is that Mueller said members of his team who would respond to the Post’s request “face the press of other work and require additional time to consult within the government.”
On CNN, Honig explained how very surprising it is to see Mueller’s team argue that it faces “the press of other work” and requires “additional time to consult within the government” before unsealing the documents.
“When I was raised as a prosecutor, we were raised with the mantra, ‘The government is always ready,’” Honig said. “So even if a judge said to you, ‘You’re starting trial Monday,’ and you knew in your head there’s no way I can do it, you’d always say, ‘The government is always ready.’ So it is very rare to say we can’t get it done in time.”
Honig then speculated on the potential significance of what Mueller could be working on that is taking up so much time, saying:
“It could be a report, it could be more charges. I still think there are other people, other shoes yet to drop, so they could be getting ready for that.”
What is keeping Mueller’s team so busy?
Mueller’s filing is highly unusual. It is a clear indication that something big is coming, and there are “other shoes yet to drop.”
But what are those “shoes?”
There are two likely possibilities:
- They might be ready to issue more indictments, or
- They could be working on the final “Mueller report.”
There has been extensive speculation for months about both of these topics. In fact, both could be true. And both could require “additional time to consult within the government.”
We have been waiting a long time for indictments to be issued against such likely suspects as Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner. Does Mueller’s request for a delay mean that he is finally ready to unseal indictments against the president’s own family? It’s very possible.
Nobody knows for sure what is going on, but we can be sure that Mueller and his team are busy doing something important, and when we find out what it is there will be shock waves felt all throughout Washington, D.C. and the entire world.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.