Thursday, May 3, 2018

Last Call For It's Mueller Time, Con't

Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to connect the dots, and the people those dots represent ought to be really scared.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is focusing intensely on alleged interactions between former top Trump campaign official Rick Gates and political operative Roger Stone, one of President Donald Trump's closest confidants, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. 
Stone, a longtime advisor to Trump, is apparently one of the top subjects of the Mueller investigation into potential collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, sources told CNBC on condition of anonymity. 
The questions have been largely about what was discussed at meetings, including dinners, between Stone and Gates, before and during the campaign, said the sources, who have knowledge of the substance of the recent interviews.

In February, Gates pleaded guilty to two counts stemming from the Russia investigation, and he is cooperating with Mueller's probe. 
The new developments indicate that Mueller's team is interested in Stone beyond his interactions with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during the campaign. 
An attorney for Stone, Robert Buschel, did not deny the relationship between his client and Gates, but sought to downplay its importance. 
"Roger Stone did not have any substantive or meaningful interaction with Rick Gates during or leading up to the 2016 campaign," Buschel told CNBC in a statement. 
An attorney for Gates declined to comment. The special counsel's office declined to comment. 
The link between Gates and Stone goes back to their work at what had been one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington, which was founded by Stone along with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The special counsel's probe has yielded two indictments against Manafort, who is accused of several crimes, including bank fraud and conspiracy against the United States.

I've been wondering when Roger Stone would find himself in Mueller's direct crosshairs, and it seems we have our answer.  Don't be surprised if Stone is Mueller's next target, because as with the weeks before the Manafort and Flynn indictments, the grand jury subpoena game is heating up rapidly.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday filed a request for 70 blank subpoenas in the Virginia court presiding over one of two criminal proceedings involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. 
The two-page filing doesn’t offer much in the way of details, but each subpoena orders the recipient to appear at the federal courthouse in Alexandria on July 10 at 10 a.m. to testify at Manafort’s trial on charges stemming from Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. 
Although Manafort faces no charges related to the Trump campaign, he is accused in cases filed both in Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, D.C. of hiding the work he did for and the money he made from a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. 
In Virginia, he is also accused of concealing foreign bank accounts, falsifying his income taxes and failing to report foreign bank accounts. 
In Washington, Manafort faces counts of conspiracy to launder more than $30 million, making false statements, failing to follow lobbying disclosure laws and working as an unregistered foreign agent.

May brings the spring flowers and the seeds of justice.

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