This week’s plea deal between the Special Counsel Robert Mueller and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, along with the following news that Michael Cohen is cooperating with Mueller now too, has taken the focus away from the moves that Robert Mueller has been making lately in the background. Of course all his behind-the-scenes work is hard to trace in real time, since he loves springing surprises on everyone. Nonetheless, enough of the pieces have surfaced to provide very strong clues regarding who will get indicted and arrested next.
Next in line for prison: Roger Stone – Mueller has spent the past several months hauling countless goons from Stone’s sketchy political and personal life in front of the grand jury. Randy Credico, a man who can help Robert Mueller nail Roger Stone for witness tampering, testified just last Friday. The only remaining holdout witness is Roger Stone’s longtime criminal underling Andrew Miller, who recently was held in contempt of court.
Once the Andrew Miller matter is resolved, expect Mueller to move forward and indict and arrest Stone. Stone says that he’s innocent on all potential charges, but we’ll see whether he fights it during trial or – like every other Donald Trump associate who’s been indicted so far – ends up making a cooperating plea agreement. By the way, Stone and Manafort have had a close business relationship going back to the 1980s, and it’s likely they’ve done some illegal things due to their amoral nature. Manafort’s cooperating plea agreement makes Stone’s situation even more dire.
The wildcard: Donald Trump Jr – Robert Mueller has been investigating Donald Trump Jr’s 2016 meeting with Russian officials at Trump Tower for a long time. However, almost nothing has surfaced regarding how far Mueller has gotten on this, or how near to completion his criminal case on Junior might be. Manafort’s plea deal and subsequent cooperation with the Trump-Russia investigation means that Mueller now knows exactly what went on in that meeting, since Manafort was in attendance. But again, we don’t know whether Mueller is going to go after Donald Trump’s criminal offspring before or after he goes for the throat of Trump himself.