He’s staffing up…..
Special counsel Robert Mueller is assembling a prosecution team with decades of experience going after everything from Watergate to the Mafia to Enron as he digs in for a lengthy probe into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
His first appointments — tapping longtime law-firm partner James Quarles and Andrew Weissmann, the head of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud unit — were the opening moves in a politically red-hot criminal case that has upended the opening months of the Trump White House.
Mueller is expected to take an expansive view of his role. He inherited a spate of existing federal probes covering figures including the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, and former campaign hands Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Carter Page.
Mueller brings a wealth of national security experience from his time leading the FBI in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Veteran prosecutors say he has assembled a potent team whose members have backgrounds handling cases involving politicians, mobsters and others — and who know how to work potential witnesses if it helps them land bigger fish.
“The more familiar you are with the important, hard cases that have come before you, the better you are at assessing the one in front of you,” said Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who worked with Weissmann on the Enron case in the early 2000s.
“In a matter of this importance — it’s going to have an almost unprecedented level of outside scrutiny for anything they do — it’s critical that Mueller would be prizing that kind of gray-beard energy,” Buell said.
Mueller and his new staff have spent their first weeks holding briefings on everything that’s been done over the past year by the FBI, Justice Department and the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, on the probes into the 2016 election — work that now falls under their umbrella…
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