Robert Mueller, the Justice Department’s special counsel probing possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, yesterday announced indictments of three former Trump aides—Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s early campaign manager; Rick Gates, a longtime business partner of Manafort; and George Papadopoulos, who was a foreign policy adviser to the campaign.
Manafort and Gates are contesting the charges against them. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty as charged.
Mueller’s indictments, five months into his investigation, have triggered a firestorm of debate within the legal, political and legislative worlds, especially regarding the thrust, scope and duration of his secret probe.
There are other major concerns, too. It may be too early to tell where Muller is headed, but yesterday’s indictments appear to be of no help in answering the key question: Did Donald Trump collude with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election?