Mueller probe winding down? Prosecutors leave team while proof of ‘Russia collusion’ remains elusive
The two prosecutors, who had worked on the criminal cases involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, are returning to their previous posts at the Justice Department. They join two other attorneys who left the team over the summer.
The pair’s exit from the special counsel team comes less than a month after Manafort pleaded guilty to two criminal charges – neither related to the alleged collusion with Russia which Mueller’s team set out to uncover. Manafort reportedly met with Mueller’s investigators on Monday, as part of his cooperation agreement with the special counsel’s investigation.
Some pundits reacted to the news by feigning surprise about the existence of the probe – perhaps a reference to the investigation’s long but unfruitful attempt to fulfil its mandate.
Hey remember the Mueller probe?— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) 3 октября 2018 г.
Hey, what ever happened with the Mueller Probe? Seriously.— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) 3 октября 2018 г.
Stop wasting taxpayer money for NOTHING. This investigation has gone on too long with nothing on Trump. End it. He won. He deserves an Attorney General who does their job. Deep State Hillary supporters should be tried (like her) and put in jail for their corrupt actions.— Jeffery L Monaghan (@JeffLMonaghan) October 4, 2018
The rats are jumping ship before it sinks.— Fernando Munoz (@TexMex_USA) 4 октября 2018 г.
However, others have insisted that the probe is still going strong despite the downsizing of the team. ABC interviewed a former federal prosecutor who said that the departures were “not unexpected and simply reflect the evolving nature of this investigation,” adding that Mueller “is narrowing his focus and he no longer needs some areas of expertise.”
Whatever form the probe may now take, it appears that Mueller isn’t any closer to finding links between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin. Meanwhile, the probe’s entire premise has become increasingly scrutinized, with congressional investigations revealing that the probe may have been launched without any concrete evidence of an alleged Trump-Russia link even being established.