Speed Reads

The Manafort Indictment

Trump's legal team is scrambling to anticipate Mueller's indictment announcement

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office will serve the first indictment in connection to the Russian election meddling investigation on Monday, NBC News reported Saturday, citing an unnamed official familiar with the situation. This comes one day after CNN broke the story that a grand jury approved unknown initial charges against an unidentified person.

For President Trump's legal team, the news meant a busy working weekend attempting to anticipate what Monday's announcement might be. The administration reportedly believes the most likely candidates for indictment are former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort or ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, but a Saturday Politico story said multiple lawyers in contact with representation for Manafort and Flynn indicated neither had been notified of a coming indictment, as is typical in white-collar cases.

Another possibility is charges for a family member of someone involved in the Russia probe. Mueller's team has permission from the Justice Department to examine "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation," so charges against family could be used to pressure cooperation from the primary investigation targets.

For his part, Trump suggested on Twitter Sunday that "All of this 'Russia' talk" is an attempt to distract from his tax reform agenda.