If President Donald Trump thinks he is out of the woods now because of the latest round of indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he should think again.
On Friday, Mueller dropped a bombshell by announcing indictments against 13 Russian nationals for meddling with the 2016 Election.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cautioned that the indictment does not allege that the meddling affected the result of the election and further cautioned that Americans who communicated with them may have done so “unwittingly.”
As soon as he was briefed on the indictments, Trump rushed to Twitter to declare that his campaign did “nothing wrong.”
Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
Trump further insisted in a White House statement that the country should move on from the investigation.
Not so fast.
Not only is Mueller’s investigation not complete yet, there could very well be more indictments handed down in the weeks to come. Trump and his campaign members could be indicted for everything from conspiracy to obstruction of justice.
Just because these 13 indictments don’t make those specific allegations yet, it doesn’t mean future indictments won’t.
After all, Mueller has already indicted two members of Trump’s campaign and has accepted plea deals from two others. Trump can’t just assume there won’t be more indictments down the road unless he is planning to shut the investigation down to prevent Mueller from doing so.
Former federal prosecutor Patrick Cotter told the Huffington Post that any Americans who did work with the Russians should be worried. Cotter said:
“While they went to great pains to say they are not indicting any Americans today, if I was an American and I did cooperate with Russians I would be extremely frightened today. The net is tightening. They have moved up a whole other step on the ladder.”
The former federal prosecutor and current Harvard Law School Professor Alex Whiting explained how Mueller could indict Trump campaign officials. Whiting said:
“If there were meetings between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and the Trump campaign officials encouraged the Russians or guided them to particular types of work, or provided them assistance so that they could focus their interference, that would be collusion.”
You know, like the Trump Tower meeting Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner held with Kremlin connected Russians in June 2016 in an effort to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from the Russia government, a meeting that has been characterized by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as “treasonous.”
Speaking of “encouraging the Russians,” remember when then-candidate Trump urged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton and the DNC during a press conference?
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
And it’s on tape. Here’s the video via YouTube.
In short, this investigation isn’t over. Not by a long shot.
Featured Image By The White House Via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.