Special counsel Robert Mueller has assembled a list of figures cooperating with his Russia investigation, which includes Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort that could provide Mueller with substantial insight into the inner workings of the corrupt Trump campaign.
Mueller’s ability to flip associates of President Donald Trump into cooperators is a key facet in his investigation, lending great strength to a probe which has pressed on for almost a year and a half.
Legal analysts expect ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort along with other recruits to help the special counsel get closer to proving whether there was criminal collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Moscow, although Mueller may need to strike more deals with key Trump cronies.
With Mueller’s probe steadily advancing behind closed doors, it’s hard for onlookers to figure out the value or the extent of any witness’s cooperation.
But observers say that the deals Mueller has made signal he believes that their cooperation has significant value.
“If they have struck a deal where they’re going to cooperate, then that’s a pretty good indication that special counsel’s office believes they have something worth cooperating over,” explained Jack Sharman, who is a former special counsel to the US Congress in the Whitewater investigation.
In Paul Manafort, the newest cooperator, Mueller has a window into the treasonous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting of top campaign aides and a sketchy lawyer with connections to Vladimir Putin’s corrupt government.
The central question for the Trump Tower meeting and many other significant events is if members of the Trump campaign conspired with Russia in order to damage the Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions, as well as to what level that conspiracy rose in the incredibly corrupt campaign.
Bloomberg, citing several anonymous officials, reported on Wednesday that Robert Mueller will issue findings in his probe into collusion and the obstruction of justice following the elections, under unreasonably pressure from the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for him to complete the probe ASAP.
“Your job as a prosecutor is to go as high up the chain of the organization as you can and prosecute the most culpable people and put an end to their criminal conduct,” explained Joyce Vance, who is a former U.S. lawyer in Alabama.
“He’ll want to keep going so that the people who he prosecutes are the people who are the most responsible for any criminal conduct he uncovers. No prosecutor wants to stop at the midway point, [though] sometimes you have to because you don’t acquire enough evidence to go higher,” Joyce Vance said.