New Mueller Moves Could Be Trouble for Manafort, Flynn

Special counsel ramps up Russia inquiry of both men
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2017 9:17 AM CDT
Mueller Ramps Up Inquiry of Flynn, Manafort
A file photo of then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Robert Mueller's Russia investigation is again making headlines, this time over two new moves involving Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. On the latter, NBC News reports that Mueller has issued subpoenas to public relations execs who worked with Manafort on an international lobbying campaign from 2012 to 2014. "We think they are trying to figure out, was this a legitimate project?" said an executive whose firm was subpoenaed. NBC presents it as a significant step because it seems to be the first sign that Mueller is compelling witnesses to provide testimony. (Mueller's predawn raid of Manafort's home also suggests that Manafort has become a key focus of the investigation.)

As for Flynn, the Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller is looking into whether he played a role in trying to acquire Hillary Clinton's emails from Russian hackers. This facet of the investigation revolves around a Republican activist named Peter Smith, who sought out hackers he believed were linked to the Russian government and were believed to have gotten Clinton's emails. In correspondence with colleagues, Smith suggested that Flynn and his consulting firm were helping him connect with the hackers. The Journal's take: "The investigators’ inquiries show Mr. Mueller considers Mr. Smith’s effort to be potentially significant in the context of the wider probe into whether there was any collusion between people associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government." (Read more Michael Flynn stories.)

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