Bloomberg Businessweek: Mueller’s Dream Team Gears Up

The following is an excellent article written by Tom Schoenberg and David Voreacos in the June 19, 2017 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek on page 46 titled “Mueller’s Dream Team Gears Up” and I quote:

“Mueller’s Dream Team Gears Up”

He’s hiring veteran lawyers to probe Russian collusion and possible obstruction of justice.
June 14, 2017, 10:54 PM CDT
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Photographer: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In his Senate testimony on June 8, fired FBI Director James Comey was asked whether Donald Trump obstructed justice by pressuring him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey, as he did many times during the hearing, referred senators to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and current special counsel, saying it was now his job to sort it all out.

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As special counsel, Mueller is investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. He is vested with a unique set of powers, the extent of which won’t be clear until he attempts to exercise them. Mueller has the traditional tools of a federal prosecutor: He can issue subpoenas, pull people in front of grand juries, and bring criminal charges. In theory, he can interrogate the president, though it’s unclear whether Trump would willingly submit. Mueller can also seek to expand his probe beyond the original mandate into places he believes are relevant.

To that end, the special counsel is a repository for all things Russia, taking relevant information from congressional testimony and filtering through all the political noise, including Trump tweets or rumors of his own dismissal. Friends of the president have said Mueller is at risk of being fired by Trump—a claim denied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who gave Mueller the job on May 17.

Mueller inherited months of work already under way at the FBI, including criminal investigations of Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Over the past month he has set up shop in a federal office building in downtown Washington and begun assembling a team of investigators. Some of them worked for him during his 12-year tenure running the FBI; others he met more recently while a partner at the Washington law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP. Some estimate that Mueller will need 50 to 100 lawyers and investigators, comparable to the staffing of the Watergate congressional committee and the Sept. 11 Commission. Rosenstein, who controls Mueller’s budget, says he’ll have the resources he needs.

Photographer: From left: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images; NYU Photo Bureau: Gallo; Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe/Getty Images; Diego M. Radzinschi/The National Law Journal; Bloomberg; Courtesy Wilmerhale

Mueller has his pick of some of the top lawyers in the country. “If you’re a prosecutor, this is what you dream of—getting on a case like this,” says Peter Zeidenberg, who prosecuted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff.

Among the most notable of Mueller’s early hires is Michael Dreeben, who’s argued more than 100 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and is considered an expert on whether the president can legally keep his staff communications secret. Another is Andrew Weissmann, former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s fraud unit. Aaron Zebley has spent years in proximity to Mueller, most recently at WilmerHale and before that as his chief of staff at the FBI. Zebley worked as a national security prosecutor in Virginia, where at least one of the Russia-related cases was based. He was also the lead FBI agent in the case against a key Sept. 11 conspirator.

“This is an incredibly intelligent, tenacious, and thorough team,” says Tom Hanusik, a former  prosecutor on the Enron Task Force. “Regardless of your political persuasion, if you’re interested in having this resolved, you should be heartened by this kind of team.” Trump allies have already questioned the independence of some of Mueller’s investigators over their political donations to Democrats.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, is having trouble persuading people to join his defense team, according to two people familiar with his efforts. Instead, Kasowitz is leaning on his longtime partner, Michael Bowe, a prominent litigator. He also signed up Jay Sekulow, chief counsel to the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, who was dispatched to cable news shows to attack Comey’s credibility. Trump also assailed Comey’s testimony, saying he’d be willing to testify that he didn’t demand a pledge of personal loyalty from him.

Mueller is more likely to focus first on Trump associates such as Flynn. “A core strategy would be to find out everything that Michael Flynn knows about Russia and the campaign,” says Kendall Coffey, a former prosecutor in Miami. Yet those associates also have legal teams for Mueller to contend with. Flynn is represented by Robert Kelner, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, which boasts a bench of two dozen ex-prosecutors. Jared Kushner is represented by Jamie Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, now at WilmerHale, Mueller’s old firm. Manafort is represented by Reginald Brown, also of WilmerHale.

Adding to the intrigue are congressional probes, which can advance or complicate Mueller’s work. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a June 13 Senate hearing refused to say whether Russia came up in discussions with Trump about firing Comey—­asserting his right to keep secret his conversations with the president. “It’s ­multidimensional chess,” says Robert Buschel, a Miami lawyer who represents Roger Stone, a Trump associate. “Anything you say in the House and Senate can be used by the Justice Department, which has criminal goals. You want to protect your clients’ freedom first, and then their reputation and job.”

BOTTOM LINE – As special counsel, Robert Mueller has a unique set of investigative powers, which will be tested as his probe into potential Russian collusion unfolds.”
(IF SPECIAL COUNSEL, ROBERT MUELLER’ DREAM TEAM CAN FIGURE OUT WHERE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HAS BORROWED ALL HIS MONEY FROM AND THE AMOUNT, THEY WILL SOUND FIND OUT WHY HE WON’T SHOW HIS FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURNS AND HAS GONE BANKRUPT SIX TIMES.  PRESIDENT TRUMP IS ACTING LIKE A LOAN SHARK LIKE IN A BOOK I’VE BEEN READING WRITTEN BY CHARLES R. GEISST TITLED “LOAN SHARKS: THE BIRTH OF PREDATORY LENDING.”
LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran
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About tim074

I'm a retired dairy farmer that was a member of the National Farmer's Organization (NFO). Before going farming, I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force where I saved up enough money to get my down payment to go farming. I also enjoy writing and reading biographies and I write about myself as well as articles and excerpts I find interesting. I'm specifically interested in finances, particularly in the banking industry because if it wasn't for help from my local Community Bank, I never could have started farming which I was successful at. So, I'm real interested in the Small Business Administration and I know they are the ones creating jobs. I have been a member of Common Cause and am now a member of Public Citizen as well as AARP. I have, in the past, written over 150 articles on the Obama Blog (my.barackobama.com) and I'd like to tie these two sites together. I'm also on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and find these outlets terrifically interesting particularly what many of these people did concerning the uprising in the Arab world. I believe this is a smaller world than we think it is and my goal is to try to bring people together to live in peace because management needs labor like labor needs management. Up to now, that hasn't been so easy to find.
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