Mueller expands special counsel office, hires 13 lawyers

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Trump son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner, in relation to his investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, the Washington Post reported Thursday, citing US officials familiar with the matter.

However, Mueller's investigation is in a relatively early phase, and it is unclear whether criminal charges will be brought when it is complete, United States officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post on Thursday.

"That is a great, great team of complete professionals, so let's let him do his job", former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, told ABC News.

He met with the two top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday to discuss preventing conflicts in their separate investigations into Russian election interference, and he's set to meet with House Intelligence panel leaders in coming days.

FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the financial dealings of other Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who was listed as a foreign-policy adviser for the campaign. The Washington Post report suggests that scrutiny has been folded into the special counsel office and includes Kushner's business dealings, though it offers no details on what that scrutiny is.

Vice President Mike Pence has hired his own lawyer to represent him in the special counsel investigation and congressional inquiries into Russia's role in the 2016 election.

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Ultimately, it would be up to Mueller to decide whether there is enough evidence to recommend pursuing charges on any part of the investigation.

"They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story", he wrote on Twitter.

In a series of tweets in recent days, the president called the investigation a "witch hunt" and today appeared to call out Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz, blamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation for leaking information, which he says is "outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough thinks White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Preibus are driving some of the leaks that are damaging Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

But a source close to the President told CNN's Jim Acosta that Trump has been advised to avoid such a dramatic move.

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