Special Counsel Robert Mueller has surrounded himself with over a dozen top-notch lawyers since he was named to take on the investigation into Russian election meddling any any ties to Trump associates.
Several of the team’s lawyers came from Wilmer-Hale, where Mueller was recently a partner. Some are veteran federal prosecutors who have tried terrorism cases against al Qaeda operatives or mafia bosses. Others bring white-collar criminal expertise.
The team has expanded since. Last month, CBS reported Mueller is using a grand jury in the probe, which is an indication the probe is intensifying. The impaneling of a grand jury means Mueller’s team has the ability to seek indictments and subpoena records, although the special counsel already had broad investigative authority when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced he was naming Mueller special counsel. Shortly before the appointment, President Trump had abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey. And Rosenstein was given oversight of the investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.
The scope of the investigation, individuals familiar with the matter have told CBS News, includes Russian interference in the election, Russian hacking, any other Russian influence, and possible financial wrongdoing. Mueller’s team recently obtained records from Facebook regarding $100,000 in ad buys Russians made during and immediately after the 2016 presidential election. Between June 2015 and May of this year, about 3,000 ads connected with 470 “inauthentic accounts”, according to the social media giant.
These are the lawyers aiding Mueller in the Russia probe:
Joining the prosecution team in June, Zebley had served as Mueller’s chief of staff while he was FBI director. Before joining the special counsel’s office, he was a partner at law firm WilmerHale, where he focused on cybersecurity issues. He also been senior counselor in the Justice Department’s national security division, a special agent in the FBI’s counterterrorism division and assistant U.S. attorney in the national security and terrorism unit in Alexandria, Virginia, according to a press release from WilmerHale in 2014.
Zebley, a former FBI agent himself, also played a role in the 2006 case, testifying in the death penalty case against him. Zebley said that investigators may have been able to track own the 9/11 hijackers, and discover the plot, if Moussaoui had been more forthcoming with information prior to the attacks. Zebley had linked Moussaoui to the hijackers through Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who wired money for the operation, and money he sent from Germany, according to a New York Times report from 2006.
Rhee joined Mueller’s team in June, according to The Washington Post, and also worked as a partner at WilmerHale. She had previously served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where she advised White House officials and the attorney general on issues including criminal procedure and national security, according to a WilmerHale press release from 2011. She also served as Assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.
Quarles served as an assistant special prosecutor as part of the Watergate Special Prosecution from 1973 until 1975. More recently, he also was a partner at WilmerHale. He also served as a law clerk in a U.S. District Court of Maryland in the early 1970s, according to Bloomberg.
Weissmann was the FBI’s general counsel while Mueller was FBI director. In early 2015, he was selected to serve as chief of the fraud section in the Justice Department’s criminal division. He has also worked as a partner at Jenner & Block and was the director of the Enron Task Force from 2002 until 2005. He has spent most of his career at the Department of Justice. During the 1990s, Weissmann worked on a case related to the mafia and Russian organized crime that involved , a Trump business partner who is now a focus of Mueller’s probe.
Goldstein joins the Mueller team from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, where he was overseeing a separate investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s business and real estate dealings. Mueller has since taken over that investigation as well.
Dreeben currently serves as the deputy solicitor general in charge of overseeing the Justice Department’s criminal appellate docket. According to the American Law Institute, Dreeben, who has argued more than 100 court cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, joins the team on a “part-time basis.”
A former DOJ official, Andres is one of the most recent hires to the team joining in early August, according to Reuters news agency. Andres comes to the team from the Davis Polk & Wardwell law firm in New York where he is a partner, focusing on white collar criminal defense cases. According to Law 360, Andres has represented individuals and financial institutions in organized crime, anti-corruption and financial fraud cases and have conducted more than a dozen jury trials involving organized crime and terrorism. Some the cases Andres oversaw include the prosecution of Robert Allen Stanford, who was convicted of operated an $8 billion Ponzi scheme, and the prosecution of several members of the Bonanno crime family, one of whom plotted to have him killed.
Elizabeth Prelogar left her post as an assistant in the U.S. solicitor general’s office within the Justice Department to join Muller’s team. The Harvard Law School graduate previously worked at Hogan Lovells, a private international law firm, and was formerly a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Prelogar brings Russian language knowledge to the team, as she participated in a graduate student Fulbright Scholar program in Russia from 2002 to 2003. She was also crowned Miss Idaho in 2004.
Brandon Van Grack
Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack comes from the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. His name was on the subpoena issued to according to the New York Times. The grand jury has begun issuing subpoenas to businesses connected to Flynn and his colleagues. Van Grack is a Harvard Law School graduate and has previously worked on prosecutions relating to Iran and Syria., and he is leading the grand jury inquiry tasked with investigating Flynn’s foreign lobbying,
Lisa Page has been an attorney with the FBI’s Office of the General Counsel. Prior to her position with the FBI, she worked as a trial attorney in the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Page has prosecuted a number cases involving eastern European organized crime. In one case, she partnered with an FBI task force in Budapest, which investigated a money-laundering case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s one-time business partner, Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch. Federal investigators havein Mueller’s probe, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Rush Atkinson was a trial attorney for the Criminal Division Securities & Financial Fraud Unit at the Justice Department, where he worked under his special counsel colleague Andrew Weissman. In his position with the DOJ, Atkinson has pursued a number cases involving financial malfeasance, including one in which he helped indict a former Bankrate finance vice president, according to a DOJ press release. Atkinson has also worked in the DOJ’s National Security Division, and has experience with espionage cases in the Eastern District of Virginia. Atkinson received his law degree from New York University School of Law in 2010.
Adam Jed is an appellate lawyer who comes from the DOJ’s Civil Division. Jed, a 2008 Harvard Law School graduate, once clerked for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. He has worked at the DOJ since 2010. In 2014, then-Attorney General Eric Holder awarded Jed the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, a top DOJ honor, according to a DOJ news release.
For the last three years, Zelinsky has worked for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland. Before that, Zelinsky began his legal career under the Obama administration as a special assistant to the State Department’s legal adviser. Last year, he was awarded the DOJ’s Excellence in Prosecution of Organized Crime Award, according to a DOJ news release. Zelinsky, a 2010 Yale Law School graduate, has also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony Kennedy.
Ahmad, until recently an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has prosecuted more than a dozen international terrorist suspects, traveling all over the world to find witnesses and gather evidence. She has yet to lose a single case she has pursued against an international terrorist suspect. Ahmad earned her law degree from Columbia Law School, and received the Superior Performance award for her criminal prosecution of an al-Qaeda operative in the Arabian Peninsula, according to the DOJ. Her work prosecuting international terrorists earned her lengthy profile in the New Yorker in May, which in addition to describing her prosecutions, mentioned her love of karaoke. Favorite song? “Manic Monday.”
CBS News’ Rebecca Shabad, Emily Tillett, Blair Guild and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.