Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation may well be winding down as one of the team’s top prosecutors is reportedly stepping down.
Andrew Weissmann, who was dubbed by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon as “the Lebron James of money laundering,” will be leaving the office and the Justice Department, fueling speculation that the two-year long probe is wrapping up, according to an NPR report on Thursday.
Weissmann headed up Mueller’s case against former President Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison in two cases related to the special counsel’s probe – neither of which involved the alleged collusion with Russia being investigated.
Top Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, dubbed by Steve Bannon “the Lebron James of money laundering,” is stepping down, @johnson_carrie reports. A top FBI investigator also left. We know the probe is ending, but this could be a signal there will be no further major indictments. https://t.co/BjlYaOonOF
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) March 14, 2019
The Justice Department prosecutor, who will reportedly be leaving to teach at New York University and work on various public service projects, was frequently under attack by conservatives who questioned his credibility in light of reports that he had made donations to the Democratic Party and attended Hillary Clinton’s election-night party.
Andrew Weissmann is leaving the Mueller Team.
Curious that he is considered the “LeBron James of money-laundering investigations,” and yet, somehow seems to have missed the greatest money-laundering operation in history – The Clinton Foundation.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) March 14, 2019
Justice Department documents released last year also pointed to a meeting arranged by Mueller’s “pit bull” in April 2017 with journalists in order to discuss an investigation into Manafort. Reporters gave FBI agents the code to a storage unit in Virginia that was allegedly kept by Manafort.
“Andrew is attacked because he is feared; those under investigation know just how effective he is,” former Enron prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler told NPR. “He has not only peerless technical skills, but the fearlessness necessary for pursuing high profile, complex cases and a passionate commitment to seeing justice is done.”
Last year, Judicial Watch sued the Justice Department after it failed to respond to a 2017 a Freedom of Information Act request for Weissmann’s text messages regarding Trump and Clinton.
JW filed a FOIA lawsuit asking the court to force DOJ to produce any / all texts to & from DOJ official Andrew Weissmann (who is now Mueller’s senior deputy about whom JW also uncovered evidence of bias) related to President Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton.https://t.co/vVbvNC8AI2
— Judicial Watch ? (@JudicialWatch) March 13, 2019
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton discussed the “improper targeting” of Trump during a talk with The Epoch Times, citing examples of the “lawless approach” of investigations into alleged wrongdoing by the president and his team.
Fitton demanded an end to the Mueller probe in a tweet, declaring “shut it down” while noting that “Mueller top deputy, Andrew Weissmann is a [email protected], pro-Hillary Clinton partisan.”
PARTISAN BIAS: Mueller top deputy, Andrew Weissmann is a anti-@realDonaldTrump, pro-Hillary Clinton partisan. SHUT it down. https://t.co/mjvd0Aw5zA … @EpochTimes @JudicialWatch @CPAC pic.twitter.com/ZAAFlGcGhR
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 14, 2019
But Weissmann’s departure from the Mueller team is not the only sign that the investigation may be ending.
According to NPR:
His leaving will follow the departure of the senior-most FBI agent working on the Mueller probe, who has taken his own next step. Special Agent In Charge David Archey started a new job on March 4 as head of the FBI’s office in Richmond, Va.
Earlier this month, another special counsel prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, moved on to lead a Justice Department effort to enforce compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law that has become the subject of intense interest following charges against Manafort, his right-hand-man Richard Gates, and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Lawyers told NPR that the former law firm where Mueller and several other prosecutors were before they left to launch the special counsel team is preparing for their return.
Many believe Weissmann’s reported departure is a sure sign the ‘witch hunt’ is coming to a close:
I told you weeks ago that I was dead wrong in my initial skepticism of AG Bill Barr.
He’s exactly the right guy to lead DOJ. Just what we needed.
Nothing proves that like Andrew Weissmann being kicked off #Mueller’s team. Barr is ending this witch-hunt.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) March 14, 2019
In another sign things are drawing closer to an end, one of Mueller’s lead prosecutors and the man who oversaw the Manafort prosecution is leaving. Andrew Weissmann is leaving the DOJ to teach at NYU. @LauraAJarrett
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) March 14, 2019
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