Prosecutors ramp up foreign lobbying probe in New York

Prosecutors ramp up foreign lobbying probe in New York

In light of a 5 December 2018 article on the Associated Press, the surface-readers are lead to believe that Mueller has directed New York investigators to evenhandedly investigate both sides of lobbying in New York. Additionally, it seems that these AP reporters would like to imply that Paul Manafort is the only crooked lobbiest/consultant in New York and that investigators will soon prove it.

Spinning off from the special counsel’s Russia probe, prosecutors are ramping up their investigation into foreign lobbying by two major Washington firms that did work for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigation had been quiet for months since special counsel Robert Mueller referred it to authorities in Manhattan because it fell outside his mandate of determining whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia.

But in a flurry of new activity, Justice Department prosecutors in the last several weeks have begun interviewing witnesses and contacting lawyers to schedule additional questioning related to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs, the people familiar with the inquiry said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing work.

The New York work underscores the broad effects of Mueller’s investigation, extending well beyond the central question of President Donald Trump and collusion. Mueller has made clear he will not turn away if he discovers alleged crimes outside the scope of his inquiry; instead, he refers them out in investigations that may linger on even after the special counsel’s work concludes. Other Justice Department referrals from Mueller have ended in guilty pleas, including the hush money payment case of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

What seems odd about this article is that it tags Mueller, Manafort, Politics, and lobbying — and places a picture of Paul Manafort over the article. However, it says that Mueller will look into the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs for their lobbying practices.

Considering that Podesta was allowed to correct forms that put Flynn on the bad side of the investigation, I wouldn’t hold my breath when it comes to an evenhanded investigation of the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs.

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