Here's who could receive Mueller's indictment

With an indictment expected on Monday, here are some of the figures that could be charged in the Trump-Russia probe

Published October 28, 2017 6:12PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

After news broke on Friday night that special counsel Robert Mueller had criminal charges approved by a federal grand jury, speculation fueled over who would receive the indictment on Monday and what they would be charged with.

Mueller is currently leading the special counsel investigation into Russia's alleged ties to President Donald Trump's campaign. The president, and associates that are involved, have all repeatedly denied wrongdoing in any capacity.

The charges are still sealed by order of a judge, but NBC News confirmed with multiple sources on Saturday that an indictment would be served and made public on Monday. The story corroborated the original report by CNN.

Obviously, the question everyone wants the answer to is simple: who is going to be charged?

One of the names that has been speculated the most is Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort. Manafort recently said he expected to be indicted, and last week it was reported that Manafort was under investigation by the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office in an alleged money-laundering scandal.

Manafort's financial relationship with billionaire Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, is also stronger than had been previously thought. The two have done roughly $60 million in business dealings together over the past decade.

In July, Manafort's home was raided by the FBI and less than two months later, news came out that he was also wiretapped by the FBI. Last week, the realtor who sold him the home in Alexandria, Virginia, testified before the grand jury.

Some who have worked with Mueller in the past, have even suggested he may use an indictment against Manafort to flip him against Trump.

"There is a lot of pressure on people who are under investigation to cooperate with Mueller after this indictment," Michael Zeldin, a lawyer who served as a special assistant to Mueller when he was director of the FBI, told the New York Daily News.

Another prime suspect has been Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served as Trump's national security adviser before he was caught in a lie about contact with Russian officials during the campaign, or transition period.

Besides Flynn and Manafort, there are other shady suspects that have been focused on as well.

Among them are Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Flynn's son, Michael G. Flynn, who have come under scrutiny in the probe that is also "investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when he asked [Former FBI Director James] Comey to drop the Flynn investigation and then fired him in May," NBC reported.

Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., has also been a major suspect of the investigation after his meeting with a Russian lawyer. Prior to the meeting he had been promised damaging info against his father's political opponent Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian effort to ensure Trump an electoral victory.

This week it was reported that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, showed up with talking points she received through collaboration with the Russian government.

Carter Page, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee for five hours on Friday.

Trump's longtime ally, Michael Cohen, testified before both House and Senate panels in which he was grilled "on emails he received in 2015 from Felix Sater, a former Trump associate with a criminal past, about a potential deal to open a Trump Tower in the Russian capital," NBC News reported.

Roger Stone is also a longtime friend of Trump, and worked on his campaign for a period of time as well. On Friday night he went on an unhinged Twitter rant, largely directed at CNN's Don Lemon, as Salon previously reported.

Regardless of who receives an indictment on Monday, the fact that Mueller has already filed charges highlights a significant change in the investigation.

"We're moving away from a political fight, where everyone can see it the way they want, and into ... a legal process — where there are rules of evidence, facts are established. ... Bob Mueller is known to be a pretty careful prosecutor," MSNBC's Ari Melber said, according to Axios.

Matt Miller, a former Obama Justice Department Official told Axios, "I think it means this will be a rolling investigation. Rather than conduct his entire investigation and then wrap things up with indictments and possibly a report at the end, he is doing it in stages, the way the Justice Department might attack a drug cartel or a mafia family."

By Charlie May

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