Mueller expands investigation, hires more prosecutors

by WorldTribune Staff, July 5, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller is expanding his investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election by dipping into the Justice Department’s well of resources to hire more prosecutors, a report said.

Special counsel Robert Mueller. / AP

“As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents – a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually,” Bloomberg noted in a July 5 report, citing current and former U.S. officials.

Mueller currently has 17 federal prosecutors on his team. Officials told Bloomberg that the special counsel’s team is “coping with a higher-than-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there’s no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a June 28 hearing. “Whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart.”

In just over a year, Mueller has issued 20 indictments. Five individuals have pleading guilty.

Some of the defendants are “mounting stiffer-than-expected battles in court,” the report said.

One of Mueller’s top targets, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, is fighting the indictment against him in two federal courthouses. Manafort expanded his case last week to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Manafort’s trial is set to begin later this month.

“It’s going to be all hands on deck when they go to the Manafort trial,” Solomon Wisenberg, who served as deputy independent counsel investigating President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, told Bloomberg.

Additionally, Andrew Miller, a former aide to Trump adviser Roger Stone, has filed a sealed motion to fight one of Mueller’s grand jury subpoenas, the report said.

Mueller also plans to move eventually to sentencing for Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, both of whom pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, the report said.

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