Special counsel is "laying the groundwork" with latest Russian meddling indictment

Latest Russian meddling indictment

Over the weekend on Twitter, President Trump condemned any suggestion that his presidential campaign colluded with Russians. His comments stemmed from the special counsel's latest indictment on Friday, accusing more than a dozen Russians of carrying out a complicated scheme to influence the 2016 election. The document alleges Russians posed as Americans and used social media to influence the vote.

According to CBS News justice reporter Paula Reid, the significance of the latest indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller is that "it lays out in specific details how the Russians meddled in these elections and what crimes were committed under U.S. law."

"Because when you say someone meddled, well, what exactly does that mean? And here Robert Mueller lays that out specifically," Reid said Monday on "CBS This Morning." "He says sometimes it was pushing out messages on social media, sometimes it was paying Americans to engage in political activities and other times it was setting up two rallies in the same city on the same day on opposite sides of an issue." 

It's just the tip of the iceberg in the probe, Reid added.

"What he's doing is he's laying the groundwork here. He's explaining to the American people what happened. And now they'll continue to investigate whether or not any Americans knowingly participated in this," Reid said.

In this particular indictment, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there is no allegation that any American was knowingly involved in the conspiracy.

"But we know from the indictment that the Russians did work with Americans. They paid people to do this. So the big question now for investigators is, did anyone knowingly participate?" Reid said.

Even Mr. Trump "has not been cleared" yet, Reid said.

"He also tweeted that this began before his campaign, which is true. There's no evidence or claim of collusion in this specific indictment. But this is one of many, and we know from sources that the investigation continues specifically into whether there were any financial transactions between the Trump campaign and Russia and then also this question of obstruction of justice. Just last week investigators were talking again to Steve Bannon. They're also speaking to Trump's legal teams, former spokesman, so the investigation continues. Nobody is in the clear," Reid said.