Trump-Mueller interview negotiations stall as probe veers ‘wildly off course,’ 2 prosecutors leave team

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin thinks Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is “wildly off course” as reports indicate more prosecutors have left the probe.

The Republican governor slammed the ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the campaign of President Donald Trump, telling Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that it was “destined to perish” because it lacked focus.

“If you think about how the Clinton investigation started with him on his real estate deals and land acquisitions, and it ended up about an affair with an intern,” Cavuto asked Bevin on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Tuesday. “Do you fear that whatever comes of this investigation, that it veers wildly off course?”

“I don’t fear it, I see it,” Bevin replied. “It already is wildly off course. I’m not sure that it ever knew what its course was.”

“There’s an old saying – you’ve heard it, so too have your viewers – without vision the people will perish. Well, frankly without any vision as to what was intended to be accomplished with this investigation, it was destined to perish from the very get-go and that’s exactly what it has been doing,” he added. “It’s floundering, trying to find some semblance of relevance for all the millions of dollars and countless hours that have been spent and the lies that have been dragged through the muck, and for what?”

Mueller’s probe has not gone away even as the nation’s attention has been riveted to the confirmation process surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But talks have reportedly stalled between Mueller’s office and Trump’s legal team over a potential presidential interview, according to Fox News.

Last month’s revelation that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had allegedly suggested secretly recording the president and getting his Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment reportedly chilled the negotiations that were underway.

“This Rosenstein thing really threw them for a loop,” a source told Fox News.

The president is scheduled to meet with Rosenstein at the White House to discuss the report by The New York Times that sparked an outcry and calls for the deputy attorney general to be fired.

Meanwhile, two more prosecutors have left the Mueller investigation and returned to their former duties in the Justice Department, joining a pair that exited the probe over the summer, Fox News reported.

According to Fox News:

Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told the AP that prosecutor Brandon Van Grack already has returned to the Justice Department’s national security division but will continue to be involved in cases to which he was assigned. That would include the investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

Prosecutor Kyle Freeny will end her detail to the special counsel later this month and will return to her position in the Justice Department’s money laundering section, Carr said.

Van Grack and Freeny were on the teams prosecuting Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The departures are the latest indication that Mueller’s team is wrapping up parts of the investigation and focusing its efforts on critical remaining strands, including an active grand-jury probe of longtime Trump associate Roger Stone.

 

Prosecutors Ryan Dickey and Brian Richardson left the team in August and other Department of Justice offices have taken over parts of the Mueller investigation. Freeny is set to leave the office in mid-October, retuening to her job at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section. Van Grack, who has already left Mueller’s office, has returned to the National Security Division.

By October, 13 prosecutors will be left at Mueller’s office.

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