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 MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' 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 ManafortPaul Manafort's former son-in-law sentenced to 9 years in prison for scamming Dustin Hoffman, others NSC official testified there was 'no doubt' Trump pushed quid pro quo Prosecutor says Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump as trial opens MORE, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former longtime Trump lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenBroadcast, cable news networks to preempt regular programming for Trump impeachment coverage DOJ releases hundreds of pages of memos from Mueller probe Scaramucci visits Cohen in prison 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 PapadopoulosThe Hill's Campaign Report: Red-state governors races pose test for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP George Papadopoulos launches campaign to run for Katie Hill's congressional seat 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 TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on 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