Republicans with close links to the White House increasingly believe that special counsel Robert Mueller is “going for the kill” in his investigation into links between President Donald Trump and Russia, according to a report from Axios Tuesday.
Members of the GOP are said to have come to that stark conclusion based on Mueller’s hiring of lawyers experienced in dealing with money laundering crimes and the Mafia, as well as the intensity of his pursuit of both witnesses and evidence.
Trump has previously warned that investigation of his financial dealings is a red line that Mueller should not cross. But that is thought to be exactly what Mueller is doing, including looking into a proposal made during the 2016 campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
The new report comes just days after Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, told CBS’s 60 Minutes that Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, which he called the worst mistake in “modern political history,” led directly to the appointment of Mueller to oversee the investigation.
Mueller’s probe appears to have stepped up in recent weeks. It was reported last month that he had impaneled a federal grand jury in Washington and has issued subpoenas related to a meeting Donald Trump Jr. held with a Russian-government-linked lawyer in June 2016. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as his then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, were also at the meeting. Last week, Trump Jr. was interviewed behind closed doors by the Senate Judiciary Committee.