A significant move has been made in the investigation into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with Russia. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has teamed up with New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman specifically for their investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Manafort has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but he has been a focus of the special counsel’s probe for his financial transactions and previous lobbying work that may have ties to Russia. The New York attorney general has already been doing his own investigation of Manafort’s real estate dealings.
Robert Mueller’s team has been in contact with Schneiderman’s team recently, and they have gathered evidence on possible money laundering as well as other financial crimes. The New York state investigation could certainly help Mueller in the larger probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
The connection with the state attorney general could be substantial because of Trump’s ability to pardon for federal crimes. Presidents do not have pardoning power over states. This threat could be used as leverage to get Manafort to cooperate with investigators.
The report of Mueller and Schneiderman teaming up comes one day after CNN reported that Mueller had subpoenaed Manafort’s spokesperson and former attorneys.
This new move will most like create tension in the White House. President Trump has been critical of Mueller’s investigation and has gone as far as publicly warning Mueller not to investigate his family’s financial history.
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