President Donald Trump's administration has launched a media and legal war against special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election (video below).
Three unidentified sources told The Associated Press on July 20 that Trump's legal team was searching for possible conflicts of interest among members of Mueller's team.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told the AP that Trump's team "will consistently evaluate the issue of conflicts and raise them in the appropriate venue."
Sekulow himself is currently under investigation by attorneys general in North Carolina and New York for using his charity, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, to pay himself and members of his family over $60 million since 2000 for legal and other services, reported The Guardian.
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White House adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on "Fox and Friends" on July 21, where she and the co-host Ainsley Earhardt attacked Mueller and his team, notes Mediaite.
Earhardt set up the interview by pointedly mentioning the donation histories of some of Mueller's team:
Robert Mueller, who has been picked to be the special counsel, he has hired a team of lawyers, six people, five of which have given money to the Democratic Party or to President Obama or President Clinton years ago, and it's upwards of thousands of dollars that they have given. How does the president plan to defend himself against that team?
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Conway echoed Trump's assertion that the investigation is a "witch hunt," and praised Earhardt for telling the American people about the Mueller team's "motivations." Conway added that the political donations were not minor, but rather "significant."
Three unidentified sources told The New York Times that the Trump team intends to investigate Mueller's team's past clients and donations to Democratic candidates. Trump's team is also targeting Mueller's relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, who continues to be a target of the Trump team.
Jordan Sekulow, the son of Jay Sekulow, tweeted on July 19: "Comey tried to pull a Hoover on Trump, Comey now out of job seeking book deal b/c he was called out on tactics - was FBI Director, not POTUS."
Trump told The New York Times in a July 19 interview that Mueller's team had possible conflicts of interest and that the Trump team would disclose them "at some point."
Trump and his team are reportedly worried about Mueller's team looking into Trump's financial dealings.
The New York Times notes that some of Mueller's investigators have strong backgrounds in prosecuting financial malfeasance, which has created concern among Trump's aides. Trump and his aides have said that they are watching Mueller's investigation closely to make sure it doesn't go into business deals.
Sources: Mediaite, The New York Times (2), The Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report. The Guardian, Jordan Sekulow/Twitter / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons (2), AxlBonBach/Wikimedia Commons