Video by MSNBC
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election may see charges laid soon, a former top figure from the FBI who used to work with him has said.
Ex-FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC what he thought would happen to the probe after the appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general. That move followed the resignation of Jeff Sessions.
It is not clear what role Whitaker will play in overseeing the inquiry, which he has criticized for going too far in investigating the family finances of President Trump. Democrats fear the hostility to the probe might spur him to sabotage it, The New York Times reported.
Whitaker has also defended the meeting that took place between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lobbyists in Trump Tower in June 2016.
But Figliuzzi told the anchor of The 11th Hour, Brian Williams, he had "a theory" that Mueller has already indicated what he is going to do.
"I think he's ready to indict some folks and through those indictments will tell the story of what he's found against the president.
"I'm not saying he's indicting the president. I'm saying there's a middle ground where he tells us the story, locks it into the court system by indicting others, then files a report with Whitaker," he added.
"Perhaps what we'll see is Bob Mueller telling us the story of a corrupt president through indictments."
Figliuzzi also suggested that Mueller knows his days are numbered and so would act soon.
"I think the Whitaker appointment steps up the timeline and I think perhaps if Mueller sticks to the strategy of telling us the story through indictments - the indictments speak to us - that he'll speak to us soon, very soon, with additional indictments, perhaps that tell the story of a corrupt president," he said.
Protesters gathered around the country on Thursday from New York to Los Angeles in support of the Mueller investigation, which they fear may be ended following the firing of Sessions. The action was coordinated by the group MoveOn.
"Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice," it said on its website.