Feb 20, 2018

5 clues to Mueller's roadmap

Mike Allen, author of AM

Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's shop doesn't leak, but last week's 37-page indictment of Russians provided a mess of clues about what he's up to.

The big picture: Here are five things we've learned from the indictment and our reporting surrounding the overall Russia probe.

  1. He's moving fast. The indictment is a sneak peek at the level of sweep and color we can expect in a final report, and is a mammoth accomplishment just nine months after Mueller was appointed. A source familiar with the investigation told me it won't take years, like Ken Starr's probe of Bill Clinton.
  2. He's using the full reach of federal power, including the intelligence agencies, whose sources and methods were reflected in the indictment. CNN contributor Garrett Graff, who wrote a bookabout Mueller as FBI director, told me: "[T]he main (and ongoing) surprise is the strength and breadth of this investigation."
  3. He's signaling quantity: MSNBC contributor Matt Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman, told me: "Friday’sindictment established the legal architecture for possible future charges. Once you’ve established there was a conspiracy, you can charge anyone who was aware of the conspiracy and took an overt action to further it." Miller also expects tax charges.
  4. He's watching his back: The indictment-announcement presser by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supervises the investigation, was meant to signal that Mueller intends to be efficient and transparent. With the quick revelations about Russia and the election, Mueller was signaling this isn't a fishing expedition. And he made it harder for Trump to fire him.
  5. What's coming: The source familiar with the investigation expects Mueller to reach some conclusion about the hacks of email belonging to the DNC and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Matt Miller told me: "Now that [Mueller] has decided to indict one set of Russian participants, it seems likely he will indict the Russian participants in the hacking as well. The big question ... remains whether there will be any American co-conspirators."

Go deeper

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Data: Ipsos/Axios survey; Note: ±3.2% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A new Axios-Ipsos poll finds that America has a massive racial gulf on each of our twin calamities — trust in police, and fear of the coronavirus.

  • 77% of whites say they trust local police, compared with just 36% of African Americans — one of many measures of a throbbing racial divide in Week 11 of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, taken the week George Floyd was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
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Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

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Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
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  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
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