Back when Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals for various social media antics aimed at swaying the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s favor, Palmer Report predicted at the time that it was merely a warmup act and a warning shot. Sure enough, now Mueller is bringing indictments against more central culprits who participated in illegal hacking and leaking in the Trump-Russia scandal.
This is a major step forward because these indictments, which have just been reported by NBC News, are going to be against people who conspired directly with the Donald Trump campaign. Ken Dilanian says he doesn’t yet know if WikiLeaks itself, or its founder Julian Assange, will be among those indicted. But WikiLeaks did leak the emails that Russian hackers stole from the Democratic National Committee, as part of a concerted effort to help Donald Trump. Numerous people close to Trump, including his son Donald Trump Jr and his oldest friend Roger Stone, were in communication with WikiLeaks and/or the Russian hackers during this period of time.
So how many of these hackers and leakers being indicted are Russians, and how many are Americans? How many can actually be brought to trial? That may not be the most important part here. These charges will establish that a criminal hacking and leaking conspiracy existed, which will legally pave the way for people like Trump Jr and Stone to be charged for their own roles in this conspiracy.
Of course the big question is when these criminal charges are coming. The fact that this story is hitting the media is a strong signal that the indictments are already in place and are somewhere in the process of being unsealed. It’s also important to note that this story was almost certainly supplied to the media by Robert Mueller’s own team, in a strategic move aimed at getting the various individuals involved to panic and do something stupid before the indictments are officially made public.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report