- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 25, 2018

Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney and a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, said on Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election will continue to “surprise” even those experts who are paying close attention because there are so many unknowns.

Mr. Bharara, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and had a reputation as a “crusader” against corruption, was fired last year by Mr. Trump in a clearing of Obama-era federal prosecutors. Mr. Bharara is also a close friend of former FBI Director James Comey, whom Mr. Trump fired last May.

On Sunday, Mr. Bharara, told ABC “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos that he expects more guilty pleas and indictments from the Mueller probe.

“At any given moment,” he said, “more can happen and we don’t quite know where it’s going to lead.”

Last Friday, Rick Gates, former senior adviser on the Trump’s election campaign, pleaded guilty to charges of federal conspiracy and making false-statements — becoming the fifth person to plead guilty in the overall Mueller investigation.

Earlier this month, the special counsel charged 13 Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin, in an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 election. The federal indictment was the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign.

“It [the recent activity] tells you that he’s relentless, it tells you that he’s thorough,” Mr. Bharara said of Mr. Mueller. “It tells you that he takes very seriously any kind of crime that relates to obstruction, whether it’s lying or — or anything else, and it tells you that given how much surprise there has been every time there’s been a charge or an indictment or a plea, sometimes with respect to people who have not been anyone’s radar screen.”

Mr. Bharara added, “and I’m talking about people who are paying close attention, there’s a lot we don’t know.”

• Dan Boylan can be reached at dboylan@washingtontimes.com.

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