When the sources close to the Mueller investigation said that the prosecutor wasn’t close to finished, it seems that they meant that there was a whole second tier that would connect the Trump campaign to the Middle East with court filings which will start dropping as the calendar hits 2019.
The Daily Beast says that they have confirmed three sources familiar with the investigation that say 2019 will see what was nicknamed the “Russia Investigation” will soon be going worldwide with a Middle Eastern component. Up until now, the Russian segment has been the focus of most media, but part of Mueller’s team has been honed in on Middle Eastern countries and their efforts to influence or sway the Trump administration to see things their way.
Trump cohorts have been questioned about connections with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, and their efforts to put Donald Trump in the White House over Hillary Clinton.
And while Russia has previously been in focus, it seems that in 2019, a whole new vein might be tapped, according to Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney.
“If this is going to be unveiled, this would be like the surfacing of the submarine but on the other plank which we haven’t seen. I guess what Mueller has to date has turned out to be pretty rich and detailed and more than we anticipated. This could turn out to be a rich part of the overall story.”
Mueller will tie Trump to ‘unsavory’ Middle East operatives in new filings: reporthttps://t.co/A0HdoRIRxF— Raw Story (@RawStory) December 13, 2018
This week, the special prosecutor suggested that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn serve no jail time due to his extensive cooperation with Mueller’s investigation, but it seems that Flynn’s insights and connections didn’t stop with Russia. Flynn had connections with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
Hussein Ibish, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute, says that it’s likely that this part of the investigation could uncover some sketchy sources, but it’s unclear if they will bear the kind of fruit that Mueller is seeking.
“Many of these characters involved are somewhat unsavory. But governments deal with all kinds of people all the time. It might be possible to question the wisdom of some of these connections, but not really possible to impugn the right of a government to deal with shadowy dealers in influence and access.”
“... harrowing details of a transcript of the killing, in which a struggling Khashoggi repeatedly says, “I can’t breathe,” his body is heard being dismembered ...” Well, Mr. Trump? Mr. Kushner? https://t.co/rd3TqfCJ0l— Robert Picardo (@RobertPicardo) December 12, 2018
But one of the people already under investigation in the Mueller investigation has a link to the Middle East that the special prosecutor has already tapped. Under scrutiny have been several meetings by George Nader (a Lebanese-American businessman and UAE envoy). Nader arranged the infamous meetings between Trump associate Erik Prince, Russian wealth fund manager Kirill Dmitriev, and the Trump campaign.
Over the summer, Erik Prince confirmed that he was cooperating with the special prosecutor’s office, and the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are interested in questioning Prince again after their party has the majority again next month.
Vanity Fair is adding that Congress is tightening the screws on Saudi Arabia related to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which is further complicated by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s attachment to MBS and his family.