Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly calling for more manpower to assist him with the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Mueller is asking veteran prosecutors from the Justice Department and U.S. attorneys’s offices, as well as FBI agents, for help with new legal battles that have cropped up as a result of his investigation. Though he is not adding to his team of 17 federal prosecutors, he has called on investigators in New York, Alexandria, Va., Pittsburgh, and other cities to help him.
Permanent Justice Department units have actually spent more money ($9 million) on the Russia probe than Mueller’s team ($2.3 million). Mueller was tasked by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
Other such matters have indeed arisen, including financial crimes by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Mueller is also reportedly looking at Trump’s personal financial records from well before the campaign began. He has so far handed down 20 indictments, and five of those charged have pled guilty, including former national-security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted lying to the FBI.
After the investigation passed the one year mark in May, the president and his allies abandoned their largely cooperative stance and went on the offensive, saying the probe has found nothing so far and has gone on too long.
Mueller is still considering whether to request an interview with Trump, a move the president’s lawyers have opposed, saying it is an attempt to trap him into perjuring himself.