'Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly preparing to shift the focus of the interminable Russiagate investigation to the Middle East, where at least three countries may have tried their hands at “election meddling.”
Claiming indictments will start dropping in early 2019, sources close to the matter say that Mueller’s team has been discussing the possibility of filing charges pertaining to election meddling by Israeli, Emirati, and Saudi nationals. These well-connected figures not only offered US President Donald Trump assistance on his way to the White House – a report by the Daily Beast claims – they also tried to meddle in policies once he was there.
“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,” said Harry Litman, a former US attorney with knowledge of the probe.
Foreign influence-peddling is not exactly a new phenomenon in the US. The Foreign Agents Registration Act, originally intended to counter Nazi Germany’s propaganda, has for decades been something that only “official” foreign lobbyists had to take into account. Even among those there are some notable exceptions that happen to include a country mentioned by the Beast.
Mueller has already indicted some Trump officials for things related to lobbying for foreign powers. Michael Flynn’s guilty plea was for lying to the FBI about his work for the Turkish government. Paul Manafort’s entire case is about him being too greedy with money he got as a lobbyist for Ukraine.'
Read more: Israelgate? As Russia probe runs dry, Mueller may turn to Middle East to pursue Trump ‘collusion’
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