Robert Mueller Recruiting More Lawyers From Across the Country as Trump-Russia Probe Continues: Report

The special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election has reportedly tasked more Justice Department officials, like federal prosecutors and FBI agents, from around the country in an effort to better deal with the vast investigation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has reached out and used investigators from other U.S. attorneys' offices like in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York, and it could be a tell-tale sign that Mueller may "hand off" some of the investigation to others, according to a Bloomberg report Thursday citing former and current officials.

Mueller reportedly does not have plans to up the number of permanent staff members, which already includes 17 federal prosecutors, but other parts of the Justice Department have spent some $9 million in aiding the special counsel's probe while his own office has only spent $7.7 million as of March, according to the report citing an expenditure report. Mueller was first appointed special counsel in May of last year, now placing the investigation in its 14th month.

President Donald Trump, top Republicans and many of the president's proponents outside of Washington have repeatedly criticized Mueller's probe both for its length and cost, while also deriding its very existence, as Bloomberg noted.

Trump has almost daily railed against the probe as a "witch hunt," including and most recently Tuesday.

"Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!" the president tweeted.

But Mueller's use of Justice Department officials outside of the special counsel's office may serve as an example of the sheer breadth of an investigation that has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, and not just four former Trump campaign officials. In other words, the special counsel evidently requires some additional help for such a vast probe.

One of those Russian entities is Concord Management and Consulting, which has brought Mueller's team to court challenging the probe's authority. Attorneys for Concord last month argued against the constitutionality of Mueller's appointment, stating, according to CNN: "In the absence of valid and binding regulations, the special counsel is unfettered and unsupervised, and the appointment order certainly is no cure for that."

Other occurrences have also suddenly popped up that could take the special counsel away from the main objective of discovering who interfered in the 2016 election and how.

Like Concord, another example is former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Manafort is the only ex-campaign official to fight Mueller's charges and while his lawyers were filing motions and preparing for a trial, Manafort was accused of witness tampering and tossed in jail last month. Mueller and his team had to make their case before a federal judge in order to detain Manafort.

Robert Mueller arrives at the U.S. Capitol for closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017, in Washington. Mueller’s team has reached out and used investigators from other U.S. attorneys’ offices like in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. Getty Images/Alex Wong
Robert Mueller Recruiting More Lawyers From Across the Country as Trump-Russia Probe Continues: Report | U.S.