Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed the first criminal charges in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, according to a CNN report which has not named the individual or individuals who have been charged. It’s been clear for days that Trump and his allies thought this was imminent, as they’ve been frantically trying to generate distractions. Now that we’ve finally reached the indictment and charges phase, the next step – the arrest phase – is set to come jarringly quickly.
Numerous legal experts and scholars are weighing in on the matter, and here’s the consensus: now that the charges have been filed and have become public knowledge, arrests will come almost immediately. Various expert guesses range from this weekend to Monday at the latest, with former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman pointing out during an MSNBC appearance that it’s entirely possible Mueller has already taken the individual(s) into custody in order to prevent anyone from being able to flee.
Based on the events that unfolded in the hours before the criminal charges were announced, involving former CIA Director James Woolsey and U.S. Attorney Dana Boente, the most likely explanation seems to be that Woolsey flipped on Flynn, and that the charges have been filed against Flynn (link) – but again, Flynn’s involvement in Friday night’s criminal charges is just a theory. It also must be pointed out that criminal charges and indictments are not evidence of guilt. But that all said, we’re now entering an explosive phase of the Trump-Russia investigation which will rapidly proceed with cascading consequences.
Whoever in the Trump-Russia scandal has been hit with criminal charges, we can now expect that person or people to be arrested by Monday. Whether this involves voluntary surrender, or forcible arrest and handcuffs, is anyone’s guess. But we’ve all been waiting a long time for this phase to arrive – and here it comes.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report