district court

A screenshot from the US District Court for Washington, DC docket shows four sealed cases between Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos’ cases.

USA Today investigative reporter Steve Reilly tweeted a screenshot of the DC docket on Monday afternoon, which showed four case numbers still under seal in between the case numbers for former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos. Because the indictments for Manafort/Gates and Papadopoulos were under seal until Monday, this could mean that special counsel Robert Mueller has already indicted up to four more people in his ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

While no additional charges have been unsealed in US District Court as of this writing, it’s possible that Mueller’s team has filed charges against other top aides within the Trump campaign, including some of President Trump’s family members. Both Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, — husband of First Daughter Ivanka Trump — were present at a high-profile meeting between high-level Trump campaign officials and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. The Kremlin-connected lawyer promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, and publicist Rob Goldstone set up the meeting between Veselnitskaya and the Trump campaign chiefs.

Kushner may also have been indicted in relation to his attempts to set up a communications backchannel with Russia following Trump’s surprise election victory. In May, it was reported that Kushner and former Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak discussed setting up a secret communications line between the Trump administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin, using Russian diplomatic facilities within the United States to avoid scrutiny.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could also be a defendant in one of the sealed cases, given his conversations with Kislyak about trade sanctions imposed by former President Barack Obama. In April, Flynn asked the Senate Intelligence Committee for immunity (which was rejected), meaning that he may already be cooperating with federal investigators, if indeed he has been indicted.

One of the sealed indictments in DC’s district court could also be for former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince — the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — who served as an unofficial advisor to the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. Shortly before Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States, Prince had a meeting in Seychelles with a Russian official close to Putin, which was set up by the United Arab Emirates. The meeting was, according to the Washington Post, another attempt to set up a communications backchannel between Trump and Putin.

Both Manafort and Gates are facing lengthy prison sentences between 10 and 15 years, and are currently being held on bail of $10 million and $5 million, respectively.

 

Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based freelancer specializing in national and state government issues. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.

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