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) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate 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 ManafortNew York activists go on hunger strike to advocate for ending solitary confinement New York activists go on hunger strike to advocate for ending solitary confinement House panel subpoenas Flynn, Gates MORE, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former longtime Trump lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt MORE.

London-based lawyer Alex van der ZwaanAlex van der ZwaanEx-federal prosecutor says sentencings signal Mueller probe likely approaching end MORE was the first person in the investigation to be sentenced earlier this year, and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosInquiry into origins of Russia investigation is a scam Trump accuses Democrats of crime amid rising calls for impeachment Comey: Trump peddling 'dumb lies' 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 John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment 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