A big scoop from Erin Banco at the Daily Beast: the Mueller investigation is set to indict foreign nationals from countries that tried to influence the Trump campaign, and it's a whole lot bigger than just Russia.
Over the past year, the indictments, convictions, and guilty pleas have largely been connected, in one way or another, to Russia. But now, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is preparing to reveal to the public a different side of his investigation. In court filings that are set to drop in early 2019, prosecutors will begin to unveil Middle Eastern countries’ attempts to influence American politics, three sources familiar with this side of the probe told The Daily Beast.
In other words, the “Russia investigation” is set to go global.
While one part of the Mueller team has indicted Russian spies and troll-masters, another cadre has been spending its time focusing on how Middle Eastern countries pushed cash to Washington politicos in an attempt to sway policy under President Trump’s administration. Various witnesses affiliated with the Trump campaign have been questioned about their conversations with deeply connected individuals from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, according to people familiar with the probe. Topics in those meetings ranged from the use of social-media manipulation to help install Trump in the White House to the overthrow of the regime in Iran.
Now, according to those same sources, the Special Counsel’s Office is ready to outline what cooperating witnesses have told them about foreigners’ plans to help Trump win the presidency. Two sources with knowledge of the probe said Mueller’s team has for months discussed the possibility of issuing new charges on this side of the investigation.
“If this is going to be unveiled, this would be like the surfacing of the submarine but on the other plank which we haven’t seen,” said Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney. “I guess what Mueller has to date has turned out to be pretty rich and detailed and more than we anticipated. This could turn out to be a rich part of the overall story.”
The switch in focus comes as Mueller winds down cooperation with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who participated in 19 interviews with the special counsel’s team. In often-heavily redacted court documents made public over the last two weeks, the Special Counsel’s Office hinted at ways in which Flynn helped with its investigation into links between Trumpworld figures and the Russian government.
But Flynn was also involved in conversations with representatives and influential individuals from other foreign governments, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Israel—encounters The Daily Beast has reported over the last several months. Flynn’s cooperation with Mueller could bring new details about the scope of the special counsel’s probe into how individuals from those countries offered not only to help Trump win the presidential election, but also how they sought to influence foreign policy in the early days of the administration.
ZVTS readers shouldn't be surprised by this, I've told you this was coming for months. The story first surfaced in June 2017, but really gelled in March 2018.
Hey look, it's our old friend Erik Prince, Blackwater founder and brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos! If the Times story seems familiar, that's because it should be. The CNN story that got retracted was really the other half of last year's Washington Post story from April on Prince attending this secret early January 2016 meeting with the Russians in the Seychelles.
Now we know who the UAE's broker was, George Nader...and he's cooperating with Mueller over possibly extremely illegal foreign campaign contributions to Trump. Kudos to the New York Times for putting these together.
Prince runs as a fixer for this meeting where money flows to Trump, and his sister ends up in Trump's cabinet. Oh, and Prince gets access to the Pentagon to sell his latest mercenary war scheme just as the drums of war start up for North Korea.
Now imagine what Mueller's team knows about Nader, Prince, and DeVos, folks. If Nader is getting a deal to talk to Mueller, the information he has is valuable to his investigation. That means it's high-level stuff, like say, the Russians sending money to Trump's campaign through the UAE, and expecting things in return.
George Nader is the key to this side of the collusion and influence game. He's been cooperating with Mueller for close to a year now., and yes, that includes Erik Prince's attempt to set up a Trump backchannel to Putin through the UAE.
Turns out that Robert Mueller knows all about that meeting because Nader is cooperating with Mueller's team, and that means there was far more to this January 2016 meeting than just a friendly chat. We now know what that additional info is and what Nader is providing: it was a secret attempt at a backchannel between Trump and Putin and Nader was a witness to it all.
It also means that Prince lied to Congress straight up about the meeting when he testified. Perjury is the kind of thing that puts you in federal prison. Remember, Republicans impeached and attempted to remove Bill Clinton from office over his perjury. We'll see what happens to Prince, but at this point, assume Robert Mueller has a nice box for him to live in for a while.
You, the ZVTS readers, knew about this nine months ago. I told you then it was going to bear fruit, and it looks like the grim harvest is coming next month.