President Donald Trump and his inner circle sound increasingly confident they won’t be implicated in a report by special counsel Robert Mueller, but some of them might already have been indicted and don’t know it.
The president’s eldest two children, Ivanka and Donald Jr., have recently said they’re not concerned about Mueller’s findings, but federal, state and local prosecutors are investigating the Trump Organization and their father’s campaign and inauguration, reported Politico.
Charges reportedly being prepared by state and local prosecutors could not be wiped away by a presidential pardon, and a slate of sealed indictments have already been filed in Washington, D.C., that could involve individuals in the president’s inner circle.
“If anyone in Trump world is breathing easy right now, I’d say they are very foolish,” said Shanlon Wu, a defense lawyer who has represented former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates.
“Even if Mueller’s report were to appear and didn’t implicate the president,” Wu added, “all these other criminal investigations will continue. That’s not going to be the magic bullet that solves everything. I’d be very concerned if I was a lawyer or a potential target in that world right now.”
Sources close to the White House said they’re worried the president’s inner circle could get indicted for misleading lawmakers, which is one of the key charges against longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone.
“These guys took the whole Congress thing way too lightly,” said a senior Republican official who has regular contact with the White House. “They didn’t understand [members and aides] actually listen, take notes and record this sh*t. I think they all took it way too nonchalantly and didn’t think it matters — and boy, does it.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC), who Trump regularly cites as proof that no evidence of collusion had been found, said earlier this month that his panel had “not been shy” about referring individuals to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.
The House Intelligence Committee, which has also interviewed many Trump confidants, recently voted to send more than 50 transcripts to Mueller, and a former Trump campaign adviser who’s been questioned by both Mueller and lawmakers said anyone connected to the president should be worried.
“I think everyone will be happy when the Mueller investigation concludes,” said former campaign adviser Michael Caputo, “but the Democrats in the House and Senate aren’t going to give us a pause anytime soon. We’ve all strapped in and I wouldn’t advise anyone to unbuckle.”