Republicans have been pressuring Special Counsel Robert Mueller to just end his investigation into Russia’s attack on the U.S. 2016 presidential election and the possibility of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. As a consequence, Mueller has done something quite unusual.
It makes sense that Mueller would add more prosecutors as he has been pressed to end the investigation. Conservative Republican and potential Supreme Court judge pick, retiring Representative Trey Gowdy (SC) demanded that Mueller’s boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (R), end the investigation. During a House hearing, he commanded the deputy AG, according to The Chicago Tribune:
‘Whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart.’
Bloomberg News reported:
‘Investigators in New York; Alexandria, Virginia; Pittsburgh and elsewhere have been tapped to supplement the work of Mueller’s team.’
Mueller went to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and, what is more unusual, he also tapped the FBI for U.S. attorneys to add to his growing 17-member team. Naturally, the special counselor would have to ramp up his team of prosecutors as the investigation discovered additional people involved in alleged activities. His probe has been spreading like a lava flow.
Not only have the prosecutors investigated the complex series of cases, Mueller’s indictment of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is heading to court as the largest case. The special counselor need attorneys there as well.
Manafort was with the Trump campaign throughout the Republican convention, and the special counsel has charged him with a number of financial crimes.
Mueller may have hoped to flip Manafort and gain access to his important wealth of knowledge about the presidential campaign. Special counsel expanded his case last week to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, according to Bloomberg.
Former deputy independent counsel, Solomon Wisenberg, commented on the matter. He investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and as The Chicago Tribune reported, he said:
“I don’t think he’s getting in over his head. These things have a tendency to balloon. Yes, it may be taxing on them. No, it’s not that unusual…It’s going to be all hands on deck when they go to the Manafort trial.’
Former federal prosecutor and current managing director of the international investigation firm Berkeley Research Group LLC, Jeffrey Cramer, disagreed. He did say that the special counsel could well be taking a time crunch into consideration:
‘He’s a busy guy. There’s certainly multiple fronts going on right now. Some of them are more active than others. You don’t have unlimited resources in a sense that you’ve got an unlimited cadre of prosecutors and agents. There does come a time where they can only do so much.
‘While there’s a lot on the plate, they’re not all going on all at once,” Cramer said. “His office is doing their job. He’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing.’
Former U.S. attorney spokesperson, Randall Samborn, admired Mueller’s performance, ABC News reported:
‘In the typical life of federal criminal investigations, it seems that this undertaking has already moved at warp speed.’
The DOJ spent $9 million on the investigation from May 2017 to March 2018. Mueller only spent $7.7 million.
The special counsel has already handed off the investigation into Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to the Southern District of New York.
Mueller has issued 20 indictments and five guilty pleas in a year. In addition, he plans to send Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, to sentencing.
One thing is certain. This investigation will be filled with surprises.