Manafort Probe Heats Up: Mueller Joins Forces With New York Attorney General
Special counsel Robert Mueller is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Citing unnamed sources, Politico reported that Mueller's team has shared evidence and discussed a potential case with Schneiderman, indicating that the federal probe is "intensifying." Both teams have reportedly collected evidence on financial crimes committed by Manafort, including potential money laundering.
Mueller is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, to which Trump has reportedly replied that he has "complete power to pardon" anyone from relatives and aides to himself. As Trump does not have the power to pardon state crimes, however, the collaboration between the federal and state bodies is particularly significant, as it could provide "additional leverage" to get Manafort to cooperate with the wider investigation.
While no decision reportedly has been made as to whether to file charges, pressure is ramping up on Manafort. FBI agents served a search warrant at one of Manafort's homes last month. Mueller's team has been investigating his "lobbying works and financial transactions, including real estate deals in New York" according to the Politico report. And Schneiderman's office has reportedly been looking into Trump's business transactions, which it may share with Mueller's team.
Manafort has not been accused of any wrongdoing and reportedly cooperated with the FBI raid. Both Trump and the Kremlin have denied collusion during the 2016 election.