The news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed sealed indictments in the multiple investigations facing the Trump administration is sending shock waves of suspicion and uncertainty through President Donald Trump’s legal team and his closest allies, said Politico on Saturday.
“President Donald Trump’s White House and personal lawyers scrambled Saturday to learn where the knife might fall in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller,” wrote Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn, “triggering a guessing game among aides after days of trying to turn attention away from allegations of collusion with Russia during the election.”
Attorneys for the White House, for President Trump and for his many aides who have lawyered up since the Mueller probe began were burning up phone lines on Friday and Saturday trying to find any information about the nature of the sealed indictments or who might be named in them.
Some, like ousted legal team spokesman Mark Corallo were enraged by indictment news, which he accused the Mueller team of leaking in order to put the squeeze on Trump’s allies and defenders.
“I’m disgusted by the tactics of the prosecutors to leak the information,” said Corallo — who was fired from the legal team for his vicious attempts to undermine public trust in Mueller by smearing his credibility.
Much speculation on Saturday centered around former national security adviser — and confirmed foreign operative — Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) and former Trump 2016 chairman Paul Manafort.
Observers familiar with cases of this kind said that the approach of indicting a lower-level individual in order to catch someone more powerful smacks of Andrew Weissmann — one of the prosecutors hired by Mueller.
“That moves you toward making a deal when the son or a wife is indicted,” said a source familiar with Weissman’s prosecutions of Exxon executives in the mid-2000s to Politico.
The indictments have come well ahead of the average 17-month duration for grand jury investigations, but a source familiar with Mueller said that this is normal for the former FBI director.
“Bob combines thoroughness and speed,” the official said.