Robert Mueller’s witch hunt against Trump has switched directions.

The collusion narrative is a bust and has proven to be fake news.

But the special counsel has taken his investigation in a new direction that has frightening consequences for Trump.

Since the underlying premise of the investigation – collusion with Russia – has been exposed as a hoax, Mueller is desperate to turn up dirt he can use to recommend Trump’s impeachment.

That has led him to examining years-old financial dealings of Trump associates that have nothing to do with the 2016 campaign.

Mueller’s goal is to build a legal case against the small fish so they feel hopeless and flip on Trump in exchange for a lighter sentence.

Bloomberg Politics reports:

The former FBI director leading the probe into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia is taking a page from the playbook federal prosecutors have used for decades in criminal investigations, from white-collar fraud to mob racketeering:

Follow the money. Start small and work up. See who will “flip” and testify against higher-ups by pursuing charges such as tax evasion, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Special counsel Robert Mueller — himself a veteran prosecutor — has assembled a team of 16 lawyers experienced in complex criminal cases for his investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential campaign.

They even staged a dramatic early morning raid in late July on the home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort — a classic shock-and-awe tactic reminiscent of raids the FBI used against four hedge funds in an insider-trading probe in 2010 and earlier against mobsters like John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family in New York.

“You’re always looking for people on the inside to testify about what goes on,” said Jeffrey Cramer, a former prosecutor who’s now managing director of consulting firm Berkeley Research Group LLC. “You go for the weakest link, and you start building up.”

But Mueller is under pressure to produce results.

He needs indictments to justify his fishing expedition.

So he has cast a wide net for possible crimes to investigate in order to turn up something he can use against Trump.

Bloomberg reports he will likely act quickly:

“Mueller’s investigation is likely to continue through next year if not longer, increasing pressure on him to announce indictments against those who committed relatively small offenses and who aren’t needed to further the investigation, according to Hosko. “The longer it drags out, the louder the complaints will get that there’s nothing that’s been proven,” he said.

The July raid on the home of Manafort, whose financial dealings and previous work for a Russian-backed party in Ukraine have come under scrutiny, was seen as an effort to get him to give up any damaging information he might have on Trump or others.

Manafort changed lawyers after the raid, announcing he would hire Miller & Chevalier, which specializes in international tax law and fraud. The move was made because Mueller’s investigation of Manafort appears to be moving beyond collusion with Russia to focus on potential tax violations, said a person familiar with the matter.

John Dowd, another Trump lawyer, called the raid a “gross abuse of the judicial process” for the sake of “shock value” — another indication that the Trump team is chafing increasingly at Mueller’s hard-charging approach.”

Trump supporters believe Mueller’s indictments will be timed to coincide with the 2018 midterm election.

An “October surprise” of indictments of former Trump campaign officials – even if on unrelated financial charges – could be used by the media to depress Republican support and help boost Democrats chances to take back Congress.

If the Democrats take back Congress, impeaching Trump will be among their first orders of business.

The Mueller investigation – even though it is based on the fake news that Trump colluded with Russia – presents a grave political threat to the administration.

We will keep you updated on any new developments in this story.