Many were hoping that White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election would be winding down since virtually no evidence of collusion has been found. Unfortunately, however, Mueller just made an announcement that makes it clear that the investigation is about to ramp big time.
The Washington Post reported that Mueller just added a veteran cyber prosecutor to his team, filling what has long been a gap in expertise and potentially signaling a recent focus on computer crimes. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office said that Ryan K. Dickey was assigned to Mueller’s team in early November from the Justice Department’s computer crime and intellectual-property section.
Dickey is the first publicly known member of the team specializing solely in cyber issues. The other investigators are mainly experts in a variety of white-collar crimes, including fraud, money laundering and public corruption, though Mueller also has appellate specialists and an expert in criminal law as well.
This comes after it was reported that Mueller has indicated to the president’s legal team legal team that his office will seek an interview with the president. This caused a discussion among Trump’s attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on such a session. Mueller brought this potential meeting with Trump up late last month as he talked with the president’s lawyers, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. This meeting was also attended by Mueller deputy James Quarles, who oversees the White House portion of the special counsel investigation.
A person close to the president said that Mueller may interview Trump very soon on some limited portion of questions, possibly within the next several weeks.
“This is moving faster than anyone really realizes,” the person said.
However, Trump is rumored to be comfortable with participating in an interview, as he thinks it would put to rest questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election. In contrast, Trump’s attorneys are reluctant to allow him to sit down for open-ended, face-to-face questioning without clear parameters. The lawyers have spent the weeks since Mueller talked to them discussing whether the president could provide written answers to some portion of the questions from Mueller’s investigators, as then-President Ronald Reagan did during the Iran-contra investigation. They have also talked about the obligation of Mueller’s team to demonstrate they could not obtain the information they are seeking without interviewing the President.
“No lawyer just volunteers their client without thinking this through,” said one person close to the situation.
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