Eagle-eyed court watchers on Twitter noticed, late Monday, that there are four sealed cases listed on the U.S. District Court’s docket in Washington, D.C., located on the docket between George Papadopoulos’s sealed plea bargain (#182) and Paul Manafort’s sealed indictment (#201).
U.S. District Court for D.C. has four sealed cases in its docket with case numbers between Papadopoulos’ (182) and Manafort’s (201). pic.twitter.com/zDKMY3qHM6
— Steve Reilly (@BySteveReilly) October 30, 2017
Legal experts immediately concluded that the four sealed cases could mean Special Counsel Robert Mueller isn’t done issuing secret subpoenas and grand jury indictments.
After yesterday’s wave of charges, snagging Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates, and revealing that former Trump foreign policy aide Papadopoulos struck a deal with Federal prosecutors, D.C. watchdogs — particularly on the Left — assumed we were only beginning to see what Mueller had in store. After all, no charges were leveled at former Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, whom many had suspected of being in league with Russian officials looking to influence the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election.
But the four sealed indictments might not, necessarily, be Mueller’s work. Around 40% percent of criminal cases that pass through the D.C. Circuit court are sealed, largely to protect vulnerable witnesses, or because defendants have struck plea bargains with Federal prosecutors in return for limited sentences or government protection. This makes sense if you consider Federal prosecutors often handle major drug cases, cases of conspiracy, and Federal racketeering charges.
There is one indication that Mueller has at least one more indictment up his sleeve. The Manafort indictment is marked as INDICTMENT (B), which presumes there’s an “INDICTMENT (A)” lurking somewhere, maybe in “sealed document #200.” The subject of that indictment is anyone’s guess; it could be Flynn, or it could be Tony Podesta who hinted in his resignation letter yesterday that he was under scrutiny.