Robert Mueller’s latest hire reveals new twist in Trump-Russia probe

Robert Mueller spent the summer assembling a dream team for his Trump-Russia probe, and in the process he revealed something crucial. Everyone he hired was a prosecutor, not an investigator, which pointed to how he planned to approach his takedown of Trump: by prosecuting everyone around him for their various crimes and thus prompting some of them to flip on him. Now Mueller has doubled back and made another major hire, which reveals a new development in his investigation.

Mueller just hired Kyle Freeny, a prosecutor who specializes in money laundering cases (link). Here’s the thing: he already has a money laundering specialist on his team. Each of the people he’s picked has a different specialty. Now he’s doubling up, and he’s pulling someone from a fairly important federal case to make it happen. The most logical explanation for this comes down to two words: parallel prosecutions.

Let’s say that Mueller’s existing money laundering prosecutor is leading the charge against Paul Manafort. Why bring on a second money laundering prosecutor? It points to pursuing two different money laundering cases at the same time. So who’s the second target? These kinds of probes always work from the bottom of the food chain upward. This new money laundering prosecution would have to be of someone who’s at least as vital and far up the chain as Manafort is.

So now we can presume that, in addition to pursuing Paul Manafort for money laundering, Robert Mueller is also pursuing another key Trump adviser for the same charge – or he’s begun a money laundering case against Donald Trump himself. Mueller’s hires have long telegraphed where he was headed with his strategy and prosecutions. This latest hire is telegraphing that he’s so far along, he’s now pursuing parallel prosecutions of multiple major figures in the scandal.

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