Lost in the mix of Manafort and other news, there is a significant development in Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Mueller has referred a number of cases to the Southern District of New York for possible prosecution, including reportedly case involving longtime Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and his work for his former firm, the Podesta Group and former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, a former partner at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. It is not clear if charges would emerge from these cases but the referral further decentralizes the investigation.
I have previously written that I fail to see why Mueller has continued the prosecution of Manafort when he sent the Cohen allegations to New York. If anything, some of the Cohen allegations do touch on the campaign while the two cases in Washington and Virginia against Mueller are entirely separate from the original mandate of Mueller.
The new referrals reportedly deal with lobbying issues and the failure to register as foreign agents. It is not clear however if the immunity deals struck for the Manafort trial and investigation would impair any prosecution against figures like Tony Podesta.