Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Robert Mueller's special counsel team is "bracing for an array of challenges to its authority," per Politico, as the Russia investigation heats up and the criminal case against former campaign officials Rick Gates and Paul Manafort gets closer to a trial.
Why it matters: Mueller has been on "an early winning streak," Politico reports, as his team has avoided attempts to block subpoena power and limit his scope of questioning. But former White House prosecutor Julie Myers Wood told Politico the typical response for a defense lawyer is "distort, detract, deny," and Mueller is already beginning to see these tactics take shape against his investigation.
- Manafort's lead attorney, Kevin Downing, said he might try to keep prosecutors from presenting some of their evidence during the trial.
- One of President Trump's attorney's, Jay Sekulow, said they would "lodge formal objections" with either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if the investigation began looking into old Trump real-estate deals, Politico reports.
- Downing intends to file pre-trial motions calling into question "the legal basis and sufficiency of the charges," and more.