Update 5:15pm eastern time: Robert Mueller has now submitted a report to the Attorney General. This does not mean that his investigation is over. Even if he is finished, his ongoing criminal cases will be handed over to permanent federal prosecutors such as the SDNY. As we explain below, Mueller appears to still have a grand jury going. Original article follows below…
Since yesterday we’ve been seeing major media reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller won’t be bringing any new indictments, and that he could be “wrapping up” his investigation as soon as today. Earlier today the media acknowledged that its source for the “no new indictments” story is the uber-unreliable Rudy Giuliani, which means there is no source, and therefore there is no story. Now evidence has surfaced this afternoon that Mueller’s grand jury is still ongoing.
Robert Mueller hauled a large number of Stone associates in front of the grand jury, who then turned around and identified themselves to the media. Their various connections to Stone revealed that Mueller was investigating a wide swath of Stone’s life which went far beyond the Trump-Russia scandal and the 2016 election. But when Stone was arrested, it was on a very limited seven-count indictment. So what happened to the rest of the case that Mueller was building against Stone?
Stone associate Andrew Miller famously refused to testify, and tried a number of legal challenges against Mueller. Days after Stone’s arrest, CNN reported that Mueller still wanted Miller to testify to the grand jury about Stone. This suggested that Mueller was planning to try to bring superseding indictments against Stone. This afternoon, Miller told the Atlantic that Mueller is still trying to get him to testify before the grand jury.
The key distinction here is grand jury as opposed to trial jury. Robert Mueller isn’t trying to get Miller to testify at Roger Stone’s eventual trial on the existing charges. Instead, he’s pushing Miller to testify before a grand jury – and keep in mind that a grand jury’s only purpose is to bring indictments. So this means that Mueller’s grand jury is still a thing, and that Mueller intends to put more witnesses in front of it, and that Mueller intends to bring additional indictments.
This brings us back to Rudy Giuliani’s new claim that Robert Mueller doesn’t intend to bring any more indictments. This is obviously incorrect. Rudy could theoretically come back and try to argue that he’s only referring to indictments against new people, not new indictments against people who have already been indicted. But Rudy lies so often, there’s no reason to believe him on this anyway. And if Mueller isn’t indicting any new people, it would be because he’s handing off any remaining criminal cases to SDNY or other federal prosecutors, as he’s already done with Michael Cohen and others. In any case, we now we know that as of right now, Mueller isn’t done.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report