Michael Anton, a former national security official in President Donald Trump’s administration, said Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s perceived focus on “process” crimes in his investigation has not resulted in any indictments relating to collusion charges in the 18 months since the probe started.
Anton’s comments on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom were made on the heels of reports that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and “fixer,” reached a second plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Per ABC News, Cohen pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress in 2017 about the Trump Organization’s plans to “pursue a branded property” in Moscow. This, according to Fox News Insider, represented the first time Cohen was charged in relation to Mueller’s special counsel investigation.
As cited by Fox News Insider, Anton described Cohen’s guilty plea as additional proof of how Mueller is going after a “process” crime, rather than those directly related to his team’s collusion probe. Furthermore, the former National Security Council spokesman brought up how Mueller hasn’t indicted anyone on collusion charges after 18 months, and wondered how much longer the investigation will take.
“I personally haven’t seen any evidence on that original charge. How long is this gonna take?”
Given how Robert Mueller has a team of about 30 prosecutors and has been working on a “huge” budget, Anton also opined that the probe has yet to answer the “serious question” of whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. According to Anton, Mueller is seemingly continuing the investigation without a timeframe for completion and with an “unlimited mandate.”
CNN Exclusive: President Trump told Robert Mueller that he wasn't told about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting and that former adviser Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks https://t.co/oeVZPZECLK pic.twitter.com/pKYvoVPsTI— CNN (@CNN) November 29, 2018
“The special counsel can bring extraordinary pressure on people who maybe start out as witnesses and then become suspects or targets,” Anton said, commenting on how the investigation has widened its reach since it started.
Despite Anton’s apparent skepticism regarding Robert Mueller’s collusion investigation, another conservative pundit suggested in a new op-ed that the “case for cooperation” between Trump’s campaign and Russia might have gotten stronger in recent days. Writing for the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin cited the Moscow Project, which alleged on Wednesday that Trump confidant Roger Stone and author/conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi worked together in 2016 to gain information from WikiLeaks regarding a series of hacked emails that “would [have] been damaging” to then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“In short, the case for collusion, at least in part, posits that Russia hacked the emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to release at an advantageous time, and that ‘Corsi got information on how WikiLeaks planned to use the emails and passed it to Stone, who he knew was in regular contact with the Trump campaign,'” Rubin wrote.