Bob 'Can't Stop, Won't Stop' Mueller Hands Down Another Indictment
Bob Mueller handed down another indictment this morning. This one against an attorney, Alex Van der Zwaan, who is accused of lying to the FBI about work he did in Ukraine with Rick Gates six years ago. Van der Zwaan — the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch — is expected to plead guilty (and likely testify up the chain). You can extrapolate from that whatever you’d like, but it’s often these indictments of the unknowns — like George Papadopoulos — that end up meaning the most. The indictment may also be a warning to others about lying to the FBI, a charge that Mueller clearly takes seriously (Ahem, Trump).
What we do know is that Rick Gates recently changed his plea from not guilty to guilty, as he expects to testify on behalf of the FBI against Paul Manafort. This puts considerable pressure on Paul Manafort, who is cooked. He’s going to prison for a long time, and how long will probably depend on whether he has anything he can give Mueller on Trump or Kushner.
Meanwhile, Kushner is in additional hot water with the Russian probe, as well. Yesterday, we learned that Mueller has expanded his investigation of Kushner to include efforts to secure financing from foreign entities during the Presidential transition. Of particular note are Kushner’s conversations with Chinese and Qatari investors about shoring up financing for his New York property, 666 Fifth Avenue.
In other words, it all continues to come together for Mueller, and at a much faster pace than many had expected. Many are actually suggesting that he will wrap this all up in the Spring because he doesn’t want to be handing down indictments close to the midterm election.