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Mueller teams up with IRS for Russia probe

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller departs Capitol Hill (Andrew Harnik / AP)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is teaming up with agents from the IRS's Criminal Investigations unit to help aide in his Russia probe, reports The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff.

  • The unit, which Woodruff describes as "one of the federal government's most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities" focuses solely on financial crimes, such as tax evasion and money laundering.
  • The agency also has access to the president's tax returns, which Trump has repeatedly refused to submit to the public.
  • Timing: Reports surfaced on Wednesday that Mueller is now working with NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has investigated Trump's business dealings, in his probe of Paul Manafort. Mueller and Schneiderman's teams have reportedly already collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering.
  • Why it matters: Muller teaming up with the IRS is just another sign that his Russia investigation is intensifying, and reveals that financial crimes have become a central part of his probe.