The Russia investigation is leading to the first arrest of a Trump official, and the journalist who broke the Whitewater scandal said the person facing indictment might end up seeing as many as 50 years in prison.
On Friday, CNN reported that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has yielded a federal indictment and that the person will be arrested as early as Monday. While the report did not indicate who might be arrested, many have speculated it will be former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was the subject of a pre-dawn raid from the FBI back in July.
Whoever is arrested, they could be facing significant time in prison. Carl Bernstein, who broke the Watergate story as a Washington Post reporter, speculated that the person arrested could be facing decades behind bars. He noted that the initial arrest may be chosen carefully in order to build up to bigger arrests and bigger targets.
“If this person who has been indicted, or persons, are facing 20 to 40 to 50 years for whatever these crimes are – related to collusion or not – there may be others who are subject to similar charges who have further knowledge about dealings with Russia,” he said (via Axios). “There are a lot of intentions that the special council is trying to convey here, I suspect.”
There are further signs that it could be Paul Manafort being arrested next week. On Sunday, Buzzfeed News reported that Robert Mueller is looking into a series of suspicious wire transfers linked to Manafort. The report noted that offshore companies tied to Manafort moved more than $3 million between 2012 and 2013, catching the interest of investigators.
Paul Manafort served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager for a short stretch of the 2016 campaign, taking Trump through the Republican National Convention where there were rumors that some were planning an attempt to flip delegates and steal the nomination from Trump. Manafort helped Trump make it through the convention without incident, but was forced to resign in August when his ties to the pro-Russian Ukrainian government were revealed, Newsweek noted.
It is not clear if Carl Bernstein’s prediction that the indicted Trump official could face up to 50 years in prison could come true, as there have been no leaks from within the Russia investigation about what the exact charges might be or who will be arrested.
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