Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation keeps heating up. Mueller released a list of 35 possible witnesses to testify against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, currently awaiting trial for bank fraud and tax evasion.
One name on the list is particularly notable: Tad Devine, a former advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) during the 2016 presidential campaign.
NEW in United States v. Manafort - The Special Counsel's office has submitted their list of 35 witnesses to testify… https://t.co/i5cSwFAFBX— Tomer Elkayam (@Tomer Elkayam)1532723692.0
For those confused to see Bernie Sander's former chief strategist Tad Devine on the list, see: https://t.co/vTfdAE1SU0— Tomer Elkayam (@Tomer Elkayam)1532724108.0
Devine made headlines earlier this month when it was revealed that Mueller was investigating Devine's work with Manafort to elect former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Russia's preferred candidate at the time. As evidenced by this witness list, Devine appears to be assisting with the Special Counsel.
Manafort made over 600,000 dollars a month by the Pro-Russia Party of Nations to rebrand Yanukovych into an electable candidate. Yanukovych eventually fled the Ukraine to Russia and Ukrainian courts are hearing a case against him for high treason.
Twitter is wary of Tad Devine for these alliances.
So Tad Devine told NYT he quit working for Yanukovych in 2012 b/c he jailed his rival. There is a 4/12 email to Man… https://t.co/opk2Q9OGDO— Rachel Weiner (@Rachel Weiner)1532640296.0
Tad Devine was a Putin man with Manafort in Ukraine & a Bernie man in the US. Now, Devine is cooperating w prosec… https://t.co/hSN7NYwvX7— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@☇RiotWomenn☇)1532654134.0
One question raised by #TadDevine's total influence over Sanders is why Devine advised Sanders to remain in the pri… https://t.co/7Z2ej1u0Aw— Victoria Brownworth (@Victoria Brownworth)1532034679.0
I'm old enough to remember when Tad Devine claimed staffers had "accidentally" conducted 25 targeted searches of Cl… https://t.co/0hAxGknFYg— The Hoarse Whisperer (@The Hoarse Whisperer)1532039321.0
Devine isn't the only notable name on the list either.Another name is Rick Gates, a political consultant who also worked with Manafort to elect Yanukovych and as a Trump aide. Gates pleaded guilty this past February to lying to the FBI.
Like Devine, Gates hasn't escaped social media scrutiny either. Gates was a longtime business partner of Paul Manafort, and many speculate that his testimony could be damning.
Paul Manafort traded emails with Rick Gates about manufacturing fraudulent loan documents to borrow millions. I h… https://t.co/S5mkZFtli3— Grant Stern (@Grant Stern)1532724584.0
🔥No surprise, Rick Gates will be one of the witnesses (if not the *most important* witness) in Paul Manafort's CRIM… https://t.co/UHtmZWJ4dh— Dr. Dena Grayson (@Dr. Dena Grayson)1532723711.0
Looks like Rick Gates will testify against his old partner (in crime?) Paul Manafort https://t.co/eFF4BbI9sE— Derek Cressman (@Derek Cressman)1532727687.0
It isn't typical policy to publicly release a witness list before a criminal trial. Mueller prosecutor Uzo Asonye noted this, but District Judge TS Ellis pointed out that this case is anything but "typical."
This follows yesterdays hearing, where Judge Ellis decided to make the witness list public because, "'...this isn't… https://t.co/YDwHLRiueZ— Tomer Elkayam (@Tomer Elkayam)1532723828.0
While the witnesses on the list may not all be called to testify, some already seem to prove that Mueller is getting warmer. In addition to Devine and Gates, the list also includes Manafort's personal assistant Alex Trusko, who also aided the FBI in accessing Manafort's storage unit.
Manafort is one of the few indicted Trump officials who hasn't chosen to cooperate with the Special Counsel, closing himself off to the possibility of a plea bargain. He currently sits in jail for witness tampering.
Despite criticisms from Republican lawmakers that Special Counsel Mueller's investigation has dragged on too long, it looks as though it might be just beginning.