The first round of charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election were approved Friday — but it’s still not known what they are or who they target.
Tom Brune, Newsday
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in the Russia investigation said Saturday he has no knowledge and no comment about a CNN report that special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday obtained a grand jury indictment in his probe.
“We wouldn’t be commenting on an alleged sealed document,” said Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer, in a telephone interview.
CNN, citing sources briefed on the matter, reported that Mueller’s team of lawyers on Friday had filed the first charges in the investigation: an indictment sealed by a federal judge. CNN said anyone charged could be taken into custody as soon as Monday.
CNN said it did not know who was charged or what the charges would be.
The report was confirmed by Reuters, which cited a “source briefed on the matter,” and The Wall Street Journal, which reported that at least one person was indicted, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
NBC News reported Saturday that Mueller’s office will serve an indictment Monday, “though the charges and target are unknown,” citing a U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of the process.
A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment to a Newsday query. The White House referred questions to Cobb.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May as a special counsel to lead the investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the FBI probe of whether Trump’s campaign colluded in Russian interference in last year’s election.
Mueller is authorized to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” according to Rosenstein’s order.
Rosenstein would have been made aware of any charges before they were taken before the grand jury for approval according to people familiar with the matter, CNN reported.
In addition to Mueller’s probe, three committees on Capitol Hill are conducting their own investigations.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the investigation as a “witch hunt” and on Friday tweeted, “It is now commonly agreed, after many months of COSTLY looking, that there was NO collusion between Russia and Trump.”
Trump and his White House press aides recently accused Hillary Clinton and Democrats of colluding with Russia by funding a dossier connecting him to Russia and raising questions about a 2010 uranium deal the U.S. government approved when Clinton was secretary of state.