Robert Mueller in recent days has hired lawyers with extensive experience in dealing with fraud, racketeering, and other financial crimes to help him investigate whether President Donald Trump's associates colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel last month to lead the probe into Russia's election interference, is also homing in on money laundering and the business dealings of Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, according to reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The developments indicate Mueller is taking a follow-the-money approach to the investigation that could leave Trump's sprawling business empire hugely vulnerable.
Mueller has hired Lisa Page and Andrew Weissmann. Page is a trial attorney in the Justice Department's organized-crime section whose cases centered on international organized crime and money laundering, and Weissmann is a seasoned prosecutor who oversaw cases against high-ranking organized criminals on Wall Street in the early 1990s and, later, against 30 people implicated in the Enron fraud scandal.
Mueller has also recruited James Quarles, who specialized in campaign-finance research for the Watergate task force, according to Wired; Michael Dreeben, considered by some to be "the best criminal appellate lawyer in America"; and Aaron Zebley, a former senior counselor in the DOJ's National Security Division specializing in cyber security.
'A pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets'
As Trump praised and defended Russian President Vladimir Putin along the campaign trail, many questioned whether the real-estate mogul had any financial incentives — including business ties or outstanding debt — to seek better relations with Moscow.