6 events to watch in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation

These are the events to watch out for in connection with Mueller’s probe and other Trump-related investigations

By Alex Henderson
Published February 22, 2019 11:49AM (EST)
Donald Trump; Robert Mueller (AP/Salon)
Donald Trump; Robert Mueller (AP/Salon)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Roger Stone—veteran GOP operative, long-time ally of President Donald J. Trump and self-described “Nixonite” and “dirty trickster”—received a stern warning from Judge Amy Berman Jackson when he appeared in her courtroom in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, February 21. Issuing a new gag order, Jackson made it abundantly clear that Stone is not allowed to publicly discuss the charges he is facing as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation (which include witness tampering and obstruction of justice). But in a sense, Jackson was being lenient: she could have revoked Stone’s bail—especially in light of his inflammatory February 18 Instagram post, which showed a photo of the judge with a depiction of crosshairs next to it. Lambasting both Jackson and Mueller on Instagram, Stone described the special counsel as a “Deep State hitman” and Jackson as “an Obama-appointed judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges against Hillary Clinton and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime.”

But as much attention as Stone’s antics have received this week, he is hardly the only Trump associate who has faced criminal charges in connection with Mueller’s Russia probe or separate federal investigations by the Southern District of New York. It remains to be seen what all Mueller’s final report will reveal, or what else will come from Southern District prosecutors. But a lot will be happening with the special counsel’s probe as well as other Trump-related investigations in the weeks and months ahead. In 2019, Trump and his associates are not only being investigated by Mueller, but also, by the Southern District of New York as well as different Democrat-led committees in Congress.

Here are some important events to watch out for in connection with Mueller’s probe and other Trump-related investigations.

1. February 26: Michael Cohen set to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee

Michael Cohen (Trump’s former personal attorney) is scheduled to meet with members of both branches of Congress next week, starting with a closed-door hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee this Tuesday, February 26. The Senate, unlike the House of Representatives, remains in GOP hands. And Sen. Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, does not appear sympathetic to Cohen. Last week, according to Politico, Burr asserted, “I can assure you that any goodwill that might have existed in the Committee with Michael Cohen is now gone.”

2. February 27: Michael Cohen set to testify before the House Oversight Committee

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who now serves as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has announced that Michael Cohen (Trump’s former personal attorney) will publicly testify before the House Oversight Committee this Wednesday, February 27. Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, has noted that Cohen will not be addressing Mueller’s Russia investigation per se with the Committee. However, Cohen is likely to discuss, according to Cummings, his activities during the 2016 presidential election—and many other matters as well.

According to Cummings, Cohen is expected to address “the president’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election” as well as domestic matters ranging from “the president’s compliance with campaign finance laws” to “potentially fraudulent or inappropriate practices by the Trump Foundation” to “the president’s compliance with tax laws.”

The House Oversight Committee’s official website observes, “Mr. Cohen has agreed to testify voluntarily and in public before the Oversight Committee. He will not be under subpoena.”

3. February 28: Michael Cohen set to meet with the House Intelligence Committee

The day after Cohen testifies before the House Oversight Committee, he is set to meet with members of the House Intelligence Committee—including its chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff of California—for a closed-door hearing. While the February 27 hearing will be public, the one the following day will not. And according to the House Oversight Committee, the February 28 hearing with the Intelligence Committee “will examine in depth Mr. Cohen’s prior false statements to the Intelligence Committee.”

4. May 6: Cohen expected to report to federal prison

Cohen has pled guilty to a long list of crimes, ranging from bank fraud, tax evasion and campaign finance violations to lying to Congress about the Trump Organization’s plans to build a Trump Tower Moscow in Russia. And he has been sentenced to three years in prison. But Cohen’s attorneys requested that his incarceration be delayed, and that request was granted: Cohen is now expected to report to federal prison on May 6 rather than March 6.

5. March 13: Manafort due to be sentenced

The sentencing date for Paul Manafort (Trump’s former campaign manager) was moved from March 5 to Wednesday, March 13—and he is set to appear in Judge Jackson’s courtroom for sentencing. Jackson has not gone easy on Manafort in the past: it was Jackson who revoked his bail in June 2018 because of witness tampering, and on February 13, Jackson ruled that he violated the terms of his plea deal with Mueller by lying to federal prosecutors and a grand jury. In September, the money laundering and foreign lobbying charges against Manafort were dropped as part of the plea deal. But Manafort will still be sentenced for the obstruction of justice and conspiracy counts he pled guilty to.

6. March 13: Status report on Michael Flynn is due

The sentencing of Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security advisor in the Trump Administration, was originally set for December 18. But Judge Emmet Sullivan ended up postponing the sentencing, and March 13 was set as the deadline for a status report. By that date, a status report must be filed by both sides in Flynn’s case—federal prosecutors as well as Flynn’s defense. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late 2016.

Alex Henderson

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