A high-profile attorney has left Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team, a spokesperson announced on Monday.
The attorney, Zainab Ahmad, worked to prosecute former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and has “concluded her detail with the Special Counsel’s Office,” special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said, the Daily Caller reports, citing Yahoo! News.
Carr said Ahmad will keep a small role with the investigation representing “the office on specific pending matters that were assigned to her during her detail.”
Is the high-profile departure a sign the investigation is wrapping up and nearing its end?
The Daily Caller reports the departure of another high-profile has some people believing the special counsel is looking to conclude.
“Ahmad’s departure is the latest signal that Mueller’s probe is nearing its end,” the Daily Caller reports. “Carr confirmed Thursday that Andrew Weissmann, the high-profile Mueller prosecutor who handled cases against Paul Manafort, is planning to leave the team.”
Here’s more on the attorneys, via Yahoo! News:
The announcement of Ahmad’s departure comes on the heels of press reports that her colleague Andrew Weissman, the lead prosecutor on Paul Manafort’s case, would leave the office in coming days. The end of Ahmad’s detail is sure to be seen as another indication that the special counsel’s investigation is winding down.
Ahmad has had a role in the Russia investigation from almost the very beginning, well before Robert Mueller’s appointment. Another Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, told Congress that he briefed Weissman and Ahmad on some of the memos composing the notorious Steele dossier — which alleged a number of links between then presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russia — in August 2016, the month after the Russia investigation was opened. Ohr testified that he cautioned Ahmad and Weissman at the time that the information was unverified and came from a potentially biased source. Ohr’s testimony has made both Ahmad and Weissman a target of House Republican inquiries in recent weeks.
Ahmad and Brandon Van Grack together signed Flynn’s guilty plea agreement in November 2017. They secured an admission from Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser, that he had committed a felony during the Trump administration’s early days in the White House, concealing from FBI agents back-channel talks he had with the Russian ambassador during the transition. As part of his guilty plea, Flynn also admitted to failing to register his work as a lobbyist for Turkey’s interests at the same time he was serving on the Trump campaign and lying to the Department of Justice in an after-the-fact registration; Flynn’s cooperation on that matter led to the indictment of his business associates last year.
According to the report, Van Grack previously left the Mueller team earlier in the year and was appointed to lead the Justice Department’s foreign influence unit.Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.