Mueller working with New York attorney general in Manafort investigation

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- The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) have teamed up in the ongoing investigation of former President Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to a new report by Politico.

Manafort has not been accused of any wrongdoing but is being probed by Mueller for his financial transactions and past lobbying work with ties to Russia. Schneiderman has also been conducting his own state investigation of Manafort’s real estate dealings.

Mueller’s team and Schneiderman have reportedly been in contact in recent weeks and have gathered evidence on potential money laundering among other possible financial crimes, according to the report.

The statewide investigation could help Mueller in the larger probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia’s efforts to influence the presidential election.

Trump’s pardoning of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona last week signaled to many that the president is willing to use pardons, and could use them in the Russia investigation.

However, the New York investigation into Manafort could benefit Mueller, as presidents do not have pardoning power over states, and could compel Manafort to cooperate with investigators.

The report comes one day after CNN reported that Mueller had subpoenaed Manafort’s spokesperson and former attorneys.

Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May to oversee the federal investigation into Russian election meddling.

The president has been critical of the probe and Mueller, and has gone as far as to publicly warn Mueller not to investigate his family’s financial history.

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