Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors have outwardly focused most of their attention on the activities of Russian intelligence and their American conspirators, but that's about to change according to The Daily Beast.
Sources familiar with the investigation say Mueller's team is about to shift their focus toward the Middle Eastern sources of influence who've secretly --- or not so secretly -- influenced American politics and, more specifically, people close to Donald Trump.
The Daily Beast reports that Mueller's team will make a series of court filings that may or may not include new indictments at some point shortly after the new year.
Various witnesses affiliated with the Trump campaign have been questioned about their conversations with deeply connected individuals from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, according to people familiar with the probe. Topics in those meetings ranged from the use of social-media manipulation to help install Trump in the White House to the overthrow of the regime in Iran.
Now, according to those same sources, the Special Counsel’s Office is ready to outline what cooperating witnesses have told them about foreigners’ plans to help Trump win the presidency. Two sources with knowledge of the probe said Mueller’s team has for months discussed the possibility of issuing new charges on this side of the investigation.
Considering who they're turning their attention toward now, at least in public, there's reason to think this part of the investigation has been ongoing for most of the year.
Mueller’s office has been investigating several meetings attended by George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and emissary to the UAE. Nader helped arrange the now-infamous meeting between Trump associate and Blackwater founder Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, the head of one of Russia’s sovereign wealth funds—and he also acted somewhat as a go-between with representatives from Gulf state governments, at least one well-connected Israeli, and the Trump team.
Although Nader has been cooperating with the Special Counsel’s Office since March, it is still unclear what evidence he has offered prosecutors during interviews.
In one August 2016 meeting, first reported by The New York Times and later confirmed by The Daily Beast, Nader told the room that the crown princes of both Saudi Arabia and the UAE were eager to help Trump win the election. Also ready to lend his services was Joel Zamel, a self-styled Mark Zuckerberg of the national-security world with deep ties to Israeli intelligence. Zamel had already been in close contact with the Trump team because one of his companies, Psy Group, had drawn up a plan to use social-media manipulation to help Trump clinch the Republican nomination. The company sent former senior campaign aide Rick Gates that proposal.
This is a very deep and complicated rabbit hole, but I believe the outcome of these covert relationships has been relatively simple.
This could be one reason why, among others, that Trump will not even publicly acknowledge that American intelligence has concluded that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi was killed on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Salman or the Saudi government probably helped Trump get elected in some way we're not fully aware of yet.
From the very beginning, it has appeared that Trump's foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, was bought and paid for and, as far as we know, that could be literally true.
Trump insists we need the countries that will likely be identified by Mueller's team in some generational fight against Iran, but Trump is neither objective or perceptive enough to recognize or acknowledge that he is their asset. He belongs to them. We don't need Saudi Arabia or the UAE in a fight against Iran (a fight no one else wants) as much as they need us. They aren't our clients; we're their client. Trump has turned the United States into a client state that can be bought, whether its through raw cash or through blackmail of Trump himself and everyone close to him.
There are times when all of this sounds fantastical, but the global conspiracy to install Trump in the White House -- so he would do things like withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal or roll back sanctions on Russia -- is far more expansive than we knew it was when the Trump regime began. Even what we know today is clearly just a sliver of what Mueller's team knows.
If we pull back and look at the bigger picture, I think we can say that the Republican party and their base of voters have become so hateful toward their fellow Americans, the GOP will remain a foreign client party for the foreseeable future. We know Trump will likely be their nominee in 2020 but, even when he's gone, foreign powers will still have the benefit of an American opposition party that will remain openly hostile toward a large number of other Americans; hostile enough to enlist the aid of foreign powers.
After all, why would Republicans have so embraced Russian influence during the Obama administration and during 2016 election if not because they believe Russians are better than Democrats?
To be even more clear, why would they do that if not because they believe denying food and health care to people of color is worth sacrificing our sovereignty?
Republicans who have controlled Congress for the past two years have done absolutely nothing to hold Trump accountable because cutting social welfare is the reason they backed Trump in the first place. It's why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to identify and condemn Russian influence ahead of the 2016 election. Nothing matters to the GOP as much as white supremacy.