A federal grand jury has approved the first charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and members of the Trump presidential campaign, with indictments to be announced as early as Monday, according to multiple news agencies.
The charges being filed was reported first by CNN, which said anyone charged will be taken into custody Monday. However, the charges have been sealed by a federal judge. So whoever is charged and whether the charges are criminal remains unclear.
During a Saturday appearance on Fox News, former Department of Justice official Robert Driscoll told anchor Leland Vittert it’s possible the indictment might not even be directly tied to Russian collusion.
“Think back to the Clinton years,” Driscoll said. “The Whitewater investigation was about an Arkansas land deal. And it ended up being about something else completely.”
Driscoll added, “Robert Mueller is free to look at taxes, is free to look at lobbying filings, foreign agent filings. Things like that could all be involved that wouldn’t necessarily touch on the issue of Russia collusion that everyone seems focused on politically.”
Speculation has focused on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as likely targets.
Manafort has been the subject of a longstanding investigation into his dealings in the Ukraine several years ago -- for which he did not file as a foreign agent until June 2017.
Federal agents, reportedly in search of evidence related to the Russia investigation, this summer raided his northern Virginia home. He also was reportedly wiretapped by investigators before and after the 2016 presidential election.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was a Trump surrogate during the campaign and briefly served as national security adviser before being fired for failing to fully disclose his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then-Russian ambassador to the United States.
The FBI also secured approval from a federal court to monitor the communications of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
On Saturday, Page released a statement to Fox News in response to questions about whether he or his lawyers have been notified about any charges.
Page said in the statement that he has worked with the executive branch and Congress since being contacted in March. But he also suggested that revelations about the Democratic Party having helped finance a dossier to smear Trump has tainted any Russia probe.
“In terms of ‘charges', I can’t even imagine what might even be considered now that the false evidence from the politically-motivated, big-money-financed Dodgy Dossier that started this extrajudicial disaster has instead been so thoroughly exposed as a complete sham,” Carter wrote in the statement.
The Wall Street Journal reported at least one person could be taken into custody as early as Monday.
Richard Hibey, an attorney for Manafort, told Fox News on Friday that neither he nor any of his colleagues representing Manafort had been informed of any indictment of their client.
Manafort has been the subject of a longstanding investigation into his dealings in the Ukraine several years ago – for which he did not file as a foreign agent until June 2017. In addition to his home being raided, Manafort was reportedly wiretapped by investigators before and after the 2016 presidential election.
A retired Army lieutenant general, Flynn served as a Trump surrogate during the campaign and briefly served as national security adviser before being fired over his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, who was Russia's ambassador to the United States.
Mueller has reportedly probed whether Flynn was involved in a private effort to get former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's emails from Russian hackers.
NBC reported Saturday that Mueller will make public an indictment on Monday.
The Justice Department’s special counsel’s office declined to comment on the reports of filed charges. There was no immediate comment from the White House.
Trump has denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and condemned investigations into the matter as “a witch hunt”.
Fox News' Catherine Herridge, James Rosen, John Roberts, Brooke Singman and Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.