The possible political scandal of Trump's administration regarding the Russia collusion may take an interesting milestone. Robert Mueller, the acting FBI director may soon announce criminal charges.
According to a report by CNN and The Wall Street Journal, Mueller recently obtained search warrants for Facebook accounts that were considered "unauthentic." These accounts were believed to be dummy accounts used to purchase ads during the 2016 presidential election.
According to legal experts, the fact that Mueller obtained a warrant means that he was able to convince a judge that there are enough grounds to believe that a foreign entity may have given assistance in the form of ads and the spread of fake news. With the warrant, Mueller may have found evidence to prove that such speculation is true.
Three days after obtaining the warrant, Mueller informed Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, that he is going to be charged with a federal crime. This happened after the raid of Manafort's home in Virginia.
Mueller also issued subpoenas to Jason Maloni, Manafort's spokesman, and Melissa Laurenza, Manafort’s former attorney, to testify in front of a federal grand jury.
According to legal experts Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes, and fellows from Brookings Institution, the investigation is fast approaching a litigation stage.
With the stories revolving grand jury appearances, subpoenas, and other activities, there's enough reason to believe that Mueller is moving the investigation in multiple fronts and may be entering the litigation phase very soon. This is according to Hennessey and Wittes.
According to a report made by CNN, Mueller also obtained "FISA warrant" from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The warrant is intended for Manafort, and such a warrant can be obtained only when there’s criminal conduct.
This is not the first time that Manafort has been the target of a FISA warrant. In 2014, Manafort was surveilled under a different FISA warrant because of his lobbying on behalf of pro-Russian entities and for his dealings with high-profile Russian personalities.
According to CNN, the surveillance was halted because of insufficient evidence. However, the previous FISA warrant was extended in the light of Manafort's recent involvement in the possible Trump and Russian collusion. The investigating team of the previous FISA warrant has now shared information with Mueller's team.
Carter Page, the foreign policy adviser of Trump, is now under surveillance because of his recent trip to Moscow.
As of the moment, it’s not yet clear if Manafort has been indicted. If so, then the more interesting question is, with what?
Mueller has recently recruited Eric Schneiderman, a New York attorney general, to help him with the investigation concerning the possibility of Manafort's involvement with money laundering and financial crimes. The criminal investigation department of the IRS has already joined Muller in the Manafort investigation.
When asked for a comment, Manafort's spokesman didn't respond.
According to Hennessey and Wittes, when taken all together, it's clear that Mueller's investigation has now reached a critical point in which he will soon start making public allegations.