Paul Manafort’s trial begins

This prosecution raises questions about Mueller’s investigation

For more than a year, special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Since then, as has occurred previously in special counsel probes, Mueller and his staff have branched out. Wrongdoing not connected directly to the election has been uncovered.

One of those snared in the net, Paul Manafort, was a high-ranking adviser to Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. Manafort has been charged with various crimes and is currently on trial.

Prosecutors say Manafort made millions of dollars illegally, sometimes while in the employ of the Ukrainian government.

But an interesting aspect of the case is that it appears to have nothing to do with Russia.

An illuminating exchange took place a few days ago, when the judge in Manafort’s case was asking Prosecutor Greg Andres what types of evidence will be introduced.

“I don’t anticipate that a government witness will utter the word ‘Russia,'” Andrews commented.

If Manafort is guilty, he should be punished, of course. Clearly, however, Mueller and his investigators found no link in his case to Russian meddling in the election. That raises the question of whether any such link between Moscow and the Trump campaign exisits — and, if one has not been discovered yet, how long Mueller’s investigation should continue.