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Latest News: Meet particular counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution group

Particular counsel Robert Mueller has assembled a group of greater than a dozen seasoned prosecutors to probe Russian interference within the 2016 election, together with any potential collusion between Russian brokers and members of President Donald Trump’s marketing campaign.

Along with a squad of brokers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Inside Income Service (IRS), Mueller now has 18 attorneys on employees, a spokesperson for Particular Counsel Robert Mueller confirmed to ABC Information.

Mueller’s group has come underneath fireplace previously yr for perceived biases towards the President. Conservatives have pointed to group members’ donations to Democratic causes as a significant crimson flag, in addition to a 2016 cache of textual content messages disparaging then-candidate Trump recovered from former group members FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Web page. Justice Division pointers don’t enable consideration of social gathering affiliation to have an effect on personnel choices. Particular counsel Mueller himself has been a registered Republican previously and was first appointed FBI Director by President George W. Bush.

These 18 attorneys are confirmed members of Mueller’s group:

Zainab Ahmad is an lawyer on mortgage from the Jap District of New York, the place she served as a deputy chief of the Nationwide Safety and Cybercrime part earlier than being loaned to Mueller’s group. Ahmad made a reputation for herself prosecuting terrorist suspects in New York, together with Lawal Babafemi and Najibullah Zazi, the would-be al-Qaeda subway bomber. The authorities initially tracked down Zazi by following info from Ahmad’s prosecution of Abid Naseer, a Pakistani man who had been plotting an assault on a shopping mall in the UK. In response to a 2017 New Yorker profile, Ahmad has prosecuted and gained 13 terrorism instances since 2009.

C-SPAN, FILE
Then-Deputy Assistant Lawyer Common Greg Andres testifies in entrance of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Medication in Washington, Nov. 30, 2010.

Greg Andres, a former associate on the New York regulation agency Davis, Polk & Wardell, served as a former deputy assistant lawyer common within the Justice Division’s Prison Division Fraud and Appellate Sections and earlier than that as an assistant U.S. lawyer for the Jap District of New York. Andres is a Justice Division veteran specializing in monetary crimes. He gained a wealth of expertise in private and non-private sector anti-corruption investigations, together with insider buying and selling, cash laundering and tax fraud. Andres has given $3,800 to Democratic candidates and causes, together with $1,100 to David Hoffman throughout his Senate race in 2009 and $2,700 to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in 2017.

Uzo Asonye, at the moment an assistant U.S. lawyer within the Jap District of Virginia, joined the particular counsel’s workplace to function its native counsel within the trial of Trump’s former marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort, situated in Jap District of Virginia. In response to his LinkedIn web page, Asonye additionally labored within the White Collar Protection and Company Investigations Group of the regulation agency O’Melveny and Myers. Federal Elections Fee (FEC) information present that Asonye donated $800 to the Clinton marketing campaign in 2008. Asonye has beforehand prosecuted embezzlement and bribery instances, amongst others, together with the profitable 2016 prosecution of a former U.S. contractor primarily based within the Embassy in Baghdad charged with accepting money funds to achieve electrical building contracts in Iraq.

Rush Atkinson is an lawyer on element from the DOJ’s Prison Division’s Securities and Monetary Fraud Unit, the place he’s labored as a trial lawyer for the previous 4 and a half years in keeping with his LinkedIn Account. In 2016, Atkinson prosecuted a multimillion-dollar fraud case towards the heads of a public constitution flight firm.

Ryan Dickey is a longtime federal prosecutor who focuses on cybercrimes and fraud. Dickey labored for the Justice Division for a number of years and joined the Mueller group final November. He most just lately served within the prison division’s Pc Crime and Mental Property Part. Most famously, Dickey helped prosecute the Romanian hacker “Guccifer” in 2016. The Romanian hacker is commonly confused with “Guccifer 2.0,” a distinct hacker who allegedly hacked the Democratic Nationwide Committee in 2016. Guccifer pleaded responsible to hacking into the emails and social media accounts of quite a few high-profile victims, together with former Secretary of State Colin Powell and members of the family of former President George W. Bush.

Michael Dreeben is an appellate lawyer on element from the Workplace of the Solicitor Common, the place he’s served since 1995, together with a stint underneath now-Supreme Courtroom Justice Elena Kagan. He’s reputed to have an encyclopedic data of prison regulation and has argued over 100 instances earlier than the Supreme Courtroom. Harold Koh, the previous Obama administration authorized adviser to the State Division, labored with Dreeben and in contrast him to NBA celebrity Shaquille O’Neal. Koh described Dreeben to ABC Information as “one of the best within the enterprise … [he’s] one of the best appellate prison regulation specialist within the nation.” On Might 4, Dreeben sparred in court docket with federal Choose T.S. Ellis throughout a listening to over dismissal of the 32-count indictment towards Manafort.

PHOTO: Kyle Freeny, center, walks with Andrew Weissman, right, as they leave court in Washington, Sept. 29, 2017.Nathan Layne/Reuters, FILE
Kyle Freeny, heart, walks with Andrew Weissman, proper, as they depart court docket in Washington, Sept. 29, 2017.

Kyle Freeny is an lawyer on element from the DOJ’s Prison Division’s Cash Laundering and Asset Restoration Part. In 2016, she was a part of a Justice Division group searching for to recuperate over $1 billion from an alleged corrupt Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. Freeny gave $250 to Obama’s marketing campaign in 2008, $300 to Obama’s marketing campaign in 2012, and $250 to Clinton’s marketing campaign in 2016.

Andrew Goldstein is an lawyer on mortgage from the Southern District of New York, the place he served as former U.S. Lawyer Preet Bharara’s Public Corruption chief, and obtained the Director’s Award from the Bharara in 2015. Goldstein investigated and prosecuted the CityTime case, which the Division of Justice then known as “the biggest municipal fraud and kickback scheme in historical past.” Goldstein obtained additional reward from Bharara upon his June appointment to the Mueller probe, when Bharara tweeted, “Better of finest in each means. Truthful, robust, good.” Goldstein donated greater than $750 to Obama’s 2012 marketing campaign and greater than $2,800 to Obama’s 2008 marketing campaign.

Adam Jed is an appellate lawyer on element from the DOJ’s Civil Division. A former clerk for U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justice John Paul Stevens, Jed obtained the Lawyer Common’s Award for Distinctive Service in 2014, following his work on the profitable implementation of the Supreme Courtroom’s determination that struck down the Protection of Marriage Act, a regulation barring the federal authorities from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states.

Scott Meisler joined the particular counsel in June 2017, in keeping with Mueller spokesman Peter Carr. Meisler joined the particular counsel in June 2017. Previous to that, he had labored as an appellate lawyer for the Division of Justice’s prison division since 2009. Throughout that he spent a yr because the division’s assistant solicitor common, from April 2015 to April 2016. Meisler has expertise in instances that contain search warrants & seizures, wiretapping, mail fraud, wire fraud and cash laundering.

PHOTO: Then-Assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, Attorney Elizabeth Prelogar participates in a mock trial based on the story of Romeo and Juliet, in Washington, Dec. 12, 2016.C-SPAN
Then-Assistant to the U.S. Solicitor Common, Lawyer Elizabeth Prelogar participates in a mock trial primarily based on the story of “Romeo and Juliet,” in Washington, Dec. 12, 2016.

Elizabeth Prelogar is an appellate lawyer on mortgage from the Workplace of the Solicitor Common. Prelogar reportedly joined the Mueller probe in June. She beforehand clerked for each Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan and earned an Abroad Press Membership Award for work finding out Russian media. She majored in Russian and English throughout her undergraduate research at Emory College. Prelogar gave a complete of $500 to the Obama marketing campaign and Victory Fund 2012 and $250 to Clinton in 2016.

James Quarles is a former associate on the regulation agency WilmerHale and a former assistant particular prosecutor for the Watergate Particular Prosecution Pressure. Not too long ago served as a associate at WilmerHale’s Litigation/Controversy Division. FEC information present Quarles has contributed greater than $35,000 to Democratic Home, Senate and presidential candidates since 1987, in addition to $2,500 to Republican Jason Chaffetz in 2015 and $250 to Republican Sen. George Allen in 2005.

Jeannie Rhee is a former associate on the regulation agency WilmerHale, who has served within the Workplace of Authorized Counsel and as an assistant U.S. lawyer for the District of Columbia. “She’s a high monetary and fraud prosecutor… having spent years on the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Washington,” ABC Information contributor and former director of the Nationwide Counterterrorism Heart Matt Olsen mentioned. Mueller’s appointment of Rhee drew the ire of conservative commentators, owing partially to giant sums she had donated to Democratic campaigns — $5,400 to Clinton in 2015 and 2016, and $4,800 to the Obama marketing campaign in 2008 and 2011, in addition to $4,800 in additional donations to the Obama Victory Fund. Moreover, Rhee donated greater than $3,000 to different Democratic causes since 2004. Conservatives additionally took intention at Rhee’s protection of the Clinton Basis in a 2015 case after she left the Obama administration in 2011 and entered non-public apply at WilmerHale.

Brian Richardson, a former Supreme Courtroom clerk underneath Justice Stephen Breyer, joined the particular counsel in July 2017. He additionally served as a clerk for the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit from 2013 to 2014.

Brandon Van Grack is an lawyer on mortgage from the DOJ’s Nationwide Safety Division. Grack served as counsel to the assistant lawyer common on the Nationwide Safety Division earlier than becoming a member of the Jap District of Virginia as a particular assistant to the U.S. Lawyer for Nationwide Safety and Worldwide Crime. Van Grack gave about $300 to the Obama marketing campaign and Victory Fund in 2008, along with different Democratic donations totaling lower than $100 in 2012.

PHOTO: Andrew Weissmann and other members of Robert Muellers legal team walk outside the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, Sept. 20, 2017.Al Drago/The New York Occasions by way of Redux
Andrew Weissmann and different members of Robert Mueller’s authorized group stroll exterior the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, Sept. 20, 2017.

Andrew Weissmann is an lawyer on mortgage from the DOJ Prison Division’s Fraud Part, who has served as common counsel on the FBI underneath then-Director Mueller and as an assistant U.S. lawyer for the Jap District of New York. Earlier than becoming a member of the FBI, Weissmann oversaw the Enron Job Pressure from 2002 to 2005, together with the prosecution of Jeffrey Skilling, Kenneth Lay and Andrew Fastow. Earlier than that, Weissmann served within the Jap District of New York’s U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace, the place, in keeping with the Justice Division, he was “instrumental in bringing to justice high-ranking members” of New York’s hardest crime households. Whereas a associate on the regulation agency Jenner & Block in 2008, Weissmann donated a complete of $4,700 to the Obama marketing campaign and Victory Fund. In the meantime, a donor listed as “Andrew Weissman,” from the identical regulation agency donated $4600 to Clinton in 2007 and $2,000 to the DNC in 2006.

Aaron Zebley is a former associate on the regulation agency WilmerHale, who beforehand served with Mueller on the FBI and has served as an assistant U.S. lawyer within the Jap District of Virginia. Zebley served as chief of employees to each Mueller and his successor as FBI Director, James Comey. Zebley most just lately served as Senior Counselor within the Justice Division’s Nationwide Safety Division. Earlier than his time on the FBI, Zebley investigated nationwide safety issues for the US Lawyer’s workplace in Alexandria, VA and as a FBI Particular Agent within the Counterterrorism Division.

Aaron Zelinsky is an lawyer on mortgage from the District of Maryland. Earlier than Zelinsky’s appointment to the Mueller group, he labored underneath the person who appointed Mueller particular counsel – Deputy Lawyer Common Rod Rosenstein. Zelinsky labored as an assistant U.S. lawyer underneath Rosenstein throughout the latter’s time as U.S. Lawyer in Maryland. Whereas in Maryland, Zelinsky earned an award for Excellence in Prosecution of Organized Crime. Moreover, Zelinsky has clerked for retired Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Courtroom. Harold Koh, previously of the State Division, has mentioned he introduced Zelinsky in as a particular assistant on the State Division, the place he labored the instances of People held hostage overseas. Koh calls Zelinsky “an unbelievable group chief.”

Two FBI veterans have left the group since its inception.

Peter Strzok, who had been tapped by Mueller to assist lead the probe, left the group final summer time, sources advised ABC Information in August. As chief of the FBI’s counterespionage part, he helped oversee the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal e mail server when she was the U.S. secretary of state. His workplace was additionally concerned in investigating Russia’s alleged efforts to affect final yr’s presidential election, together with the hacking of Democratic Nationwide Committee computer systems. Strzok left the Mueller group amid revelations that he and a fellow, former group member, Lisa Web page, had exchanged quite a few texts throughout the 2016 election disparaging then-candidate Trump.

Lisa Web page, described as a trial lawyer with “deep expertise [in] cash laundering and arranged crime instances,” left across the identical time as Strzok and returned to work within the workplace of the FBI’s common counsel, a spokesperson for the particular counsel confirmed to ABC Information final September. In response to one supply, Web page joined Mueller’s group on a brief, momentary project and all the time anticipated to return as quickly as that project ended. Web page and Strzok stay underneath scrutiny for the textual content messages the 2 exchanged throughout the marketing campaign.

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