CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Friday that news of the first charges reportedly being filed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference means the probe will last “well into 2018.”
“If anybody thinks the Mueller investigation is going to be wrapping up in the next couple of months, this decision today pretty much guarantees the Mueller office will be up and running well into 2018,” Toobin said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”
Jeffrey Toobin: If anybody thinks the Mueller investigation is going to be wrapping up, this decision guarantees it will go well into 2018 pic.twitter.com/iCftwFzBA6— CNN (@CNN) October 27, 2017
In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House believes Mueller’s probe is “getting closer to conclusion.”
“I have not spoken with anybody at the Department of Justice on that front, but I think that we are seeing that it is getting closer to conclusion,” Sanders told Bill Hemmer.
Reports said Friday night that a federal grand jury has approved the first charges in Mueller’s probe.
CNN reported that the charges are sealed under a federal judge’s order, with sources telling the network that those charged could be taken into custody as soon as Monday.
Toobin called the news “a major landmark in the course of this investigation” and said the indictments will likely be aimed at garnering cooperation in the probe.
“In white-collar investigations, usually the first indictments are against individuals that you hope will plead guilty and cooperate against others,” Toobin said. “You don’t indict the big fish first, you indict smaller fish in hopes of getting the big fish.”
Mueller's investigation is also looking into alleged collusion between President Trump's campaign and the Kremlin.
When asked Thursday if Trump still has confidence in Mueller, Sanders replied that Trump “has confidence that they are going to close this up soon.”
“Every day we find out more and more details about why the president has been right all along and why the Democrats have been wrong all along and I think that each day we’re getting closer and closer to closing the loop on this on our front,” Sanders said.
Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May to oversee the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.