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Ex-federal prosecutor says sentencings signal Mueller probe likely approaching end

Former federal prosecutor Elliot Williams said Wednesday that recent sentencings in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's probe into Russia's election meddling show that the investigation could be nearing its end.

"Because of the fact that we are beginning to see sentencings, those tend to be a sign that things are wrapping up because you only sentence people when they're done with their cooperation," Williams, who also worked in the Justice Department during the Obama administration, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

Mueller's team has indicted or reached plea deals with 33 people, including onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortWould Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Presidential pardons need to go MORE, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former longtime Trump lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenFlorida bank says it has closed Trump's accounts Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Manhattan DA expands probe into Trump company to include family estate: report MORE.

London-based lawyer Alex van der ZwaanAlex van der ZwaanPardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' CNN's John Berman on Trump pardons: 'Good night to be a corrupt Republican congressman' MORE was the first person in the investigation to be sentenced earlier this year, and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE was sentenced in September. 

Flynn on Tuesday took a U.S. district court judge up on an offer to postpone his sentencing for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while serving as President TrumpDonald TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform MORE's top national security adviser.

"This Flynn thing yesterday was interesting because someone who was about to be sentenced, who we thought was done with his cooperation now is getting sentenced later on out in time," Williams said Wednesday.

"Now [Jerome] Corsi and [Roger] Stone, for instance, haven't either pled or entered agreements or been tried or whatever, so maybe they're still out there," he added. "But for the most part, we're probably closer to the end than we are to the beginning." 

— Julia Manchester