Robert Mueller is asking for more resources for his investigation – witch hunt – including a cadre of additional Justice Department prosecutors, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
At the rate that Mueller is recruiting and sourcing to increase the scoop of his so-called Russian collusion investigation it seems the special council is desperately searching for something, anything at all to charge President Trump with.
According to the report, Mueller has been busy recruiting U.S. attorneys and FBI agents to supplement his investigative team. He already has a team of 17 federal prosecutors working on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, AOL reports.
Current and former officials who spoke to Bloomberg for the report speculated that the move could indicate Mueller would want to pass off portions of the investigation to other departments at some point.
As the inquiry into potential collusion between a nascent Trump campaign and the Kremlin stretches into its second year, Mueller has charged both Americans and Russians with alleged crimes, including Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort Jr., and his business partner, Rick Gates. Mueller also indicted 13 Russian individuals on criminal charges stemming from an intent to interfere with the U.S. election via social media.
Mueller has also already referred parts of his investigation to other departments,including the case of Michael Cohen to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which eventually executed an April 9 raid on Cohen’s home, office and hotel room.
Still, as the scope of the investigation has expanded, and despite several key indictments and confessions from former campaign officials, pressure for the Special Counsel to deliver has mounted. In several tweets and public statements, Trump himself has repeatedly claimed that the investigation is politically motivated, and some embattled Congressional Republicans — like Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana — are running campaigns on the premise of ending the Mueller “witch hunt.”
With Trump’s second Supreme Court appointment looming, many Congressional Democrats seem poised to use the ongoing investigation as grounds to stall the nomination process. Yet with pressure mounting on both sides of the aisle, Mueller’s investigation seems likely to continue its deliberate march forward with little regard for external factors.
The pressure is mounting for Mueller to produce something, anything that the Democrats can use against President Trump.
“Finish it the hell up,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray last week.
President Trump has repeatedly called Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt,” pointing out 13 of the 17 members of his team are registered Democrats, and FBI agent Peter Strzok was removed from the probe after the discovery of anti-Trump text messages.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported ethical questions were being raised after an FBI agent said he was able to “shape” the investigation against Trump by revealing information to investigators.
Bloomberg reported Monday that Mueller is “making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents,” calling it a sign that he might want to hand off parts of his investigation.
Mueller also is facing headwinds because of court challenges, Bloomberg said.
“According to his most recent statement of expenditures, more money is being spent on work done by permanent Department of Justice units than on Mueller’s own dedicated operation. The DOJ units spent $9 million from the investigation’s start in May 2017 through March of this year, compared with $7.7 million spent by Mueller’s team,” the report said.
The foundation of the investigation itself also has been challenged, since it likely was prompted at least in part by the so-called “dossier,” a list of unverified claims about Trump compiled by a contractor with Russian ties working for a company funded by Clinton’s campaign.
Despite its dubious claims, the Justice Department and the FBI submitted the dossier as evidence to obtain a warrant to spy on a Trump campaign adviser.
Rosenstein commissioned Mueller to investigate whether Trump or his associates in the campaign colluded with Russia.
But Mueller’s assignments now, Bloomberg reported, have been handed over to investigators in New York, Virginia, Pittsburgh and “elsewhere.”
Gowdy’s demand to “finish” came during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee last Thursday.
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