NBC News: Special Counsel Mueller To Put Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort Under The Microscope In Russia Inquiry

Posted: May 18, 2017 7:00 AM
NBC News: Special Counsel Mueller To Put Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort Under The Microscope In Russia Inquiry

Last night, the Department of Justice announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller would be acting as special counsel, taking over the investigation into possible collusion between Russian intelligence and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. So far, zero evidence has been uncovered to substantiate such an explosive claim. Both sides have received selecting Mueller to head this investigation warmly, albeit Democrats still think it doesn’t go far enough. They want an independent commission similar to the one that was established for the 9/11 attacks. Still, Mueller’s appointment should diffuse any doubts some might have about the ability of the DOJ to investigate this matter. The Washington Post has already reported how Mr. Mueller has “a history of standing up to the White House.” The size and scope of the investigation is massive, with Mr. Mueller having a wide mandate to review any piece of evidence that may point to possible collusion. 

Mr. Mueller is employed at law firm WilmerHale, which represents Mr. Jared Kusher, aide to President Trump, and Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager. He’s expected to resign from the law firm in the coming days. Also, it’s said that Mr. Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn are the top figures to be put under the microscope by Mr. Mueller (via NBC News):

Former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort have emerged as key figures in the FBI's investigation into Russian campaign interference, which has just been taken over by a special counsel, four law enforcement officials told NBC News.

Officials say multiple grand jury subpoenas and records requests have been issued in connection with the two men during the past six months in the ongoing probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian attempts to influence the election, an inquiry that will now be overseen by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The FBI, with the help of the Treasury Department, the CIA and other agencies, is examining evidence of possible contacts, money transfers and business relationships between a variety of Trump associates and Russian officials, the sources say. The investigation goes well beyond Flynn, Manafort and a possible American connection, to include how Russian intelligence services carried out the campaign of fake news and leaking hacked emails that intelligence officials say was meant to hurt Hillary Clinton and benefit Donald Trump.

The Russia drama has been rehashed due to reports that former Director James Comey drafted a memo documenting ways the president acted improperly to influence an ongoing investigation. In this case, it was the FBI’s investigation into Mr. Flynn. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chair of the House Oversight Committee, and the Senate Intelligence Committee have both requested that Mr. Comey give testimony to shed more details on this matter, along with the proper documents on this subject. Mr. Chaffetz sent a letter to the FBI demanding that they turn over all documents relating to any communication Trump had with Mr. Comey.