August 14, 2018 / by emptywheel


There Are Still Mueller Prosecutors Whose Work We’ve Barely Seen

Because Roger Stone complained that Jeannie Rhee was leading the grand jury questioning of witnesses implicating him, I wanted to return to a project I was doing last year: tracking what we know Mueller’s prosecutors have been up to. I’ve made a table, below, of what prosecutors show up on what dockets (I’ve taken the liberty of adding James Quarles in an “obstruction” docket), including those DOJ prosecutors brought into cases first charged by Mueller’s team.

Here’s an amended description of the expertise of the prosecutors listed, which I originally did in this post.

  1. Mob specialists: Andrew Weissman is a mob prosecutor.
  2. Fraud specialists: Weissman and Rush Atkinson are also fraud prosecutors. Kyle Freeny is a key money laundering prosecutor.
  3. Corporate crime specialists: Weissman also led the Enron Task force. One of Michael Dreeben’s key SCOTUS wins pertained to corporate crime. Jeannie Rhee has also worked on white collar defense.
  4. Public corruption specialists: Mueller hired someone with Watergate experience, James Quarles. And Andrew Goldstein got good press in SDNY for prosecuting corrupt politicians (even if Sheldon Silver’s prosecution has since been overturned).
  5. International experts: Zainab Ahmad, who worked terrorism cases in EDNY, which has some of the most expansive precedents for charging foreigners flown into JFK (including Russia’s darling Viktor Bout), knows how to bring foreigners to the US and successfully prosecute them in this country. Aaron Zelinsky has also worked in international law. Elizabeth Prelogar did a Fulbright in Russia and reportedly speaks it fluently. And, as noted, Andres has worked on foreign bribery.
  6. Cyber and spying lawyers: Brandon Van Grack is the guy who had been leading the investigation into Mike Flynn; he’s got a range of National Security experience. Aaron Zebley, Mueller’s former chief of staff at FBI, also has that kind of NSD experience. Ryan Dickey is one of DOJ’s best cybersecurity prosecutors.
  7. Appellate specialists: With Michael Dreeben, Mueller already has someone on the team who can win any appellate challenges; Adam Jed, Scott Meisler, and Elizabeth Prelogar are also appellate specialists (there actually seems to be a division of labor between these appellate specialists for which challenges they deal with). Mueller’s hires also include former clerks for a number of SCOTUS justices, which always helps out if things get that far

A quick review of these materials make me wonder what Prelogar and Goldstein are doing (and what Goldstein will be doing once Papadopoulos is sentenced in early September). That’s particularly interesting given reports of a focus on the Russians who gave big money to Trump’s inauguration, which would fall squarely under the expertise of both.

As I disclosed last month, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

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