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Mueller departs a closed-door Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in June. (AP's J. Scott Applewhite)

Members of Robert Mueller's team have begun reaching out to former Republican National Committee staff who were familiar with the digital operations of the Trump campaign, according to a source with knowledge of the outreach. The only outreach I can confirm happened recently.

Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff first reported that Mueller's prosecutors are interested in "the party digital operation that worked with the Trump campaign to target voters in key swing states." Isikoff adds: "They are seeking to determine if the joint [RNC-Trump campaign] effort was related to the activities of Russian trolls and bots aimed at influencing the American electorate..."Isikoff says some of these interviews have already happened. Context: Congressional investigators have had lots of questions for campaign digital alums, including senior official Brad Parscale. They've also interviewed Alexander Nix, president of Cambridge Analytica (a firm that worked on data issues for the campaign).

The collusion theory-of-the-case that's held most widely in Washington is that if any collusion happened, it would have been through Trump's data operation. There's no public evidence the data team did anything wrong.

Go deeper

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
32 mins ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.

3 hours ago - World

Iran confirms assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe

The Iranian ministry of defense issued a statement on Friday confirming the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadhe, an Iranian scientist and the architect behind the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Fakhrizadhe was the head of the Amad project in the Iranian ministry of defense, which focused on developing a nuclear bomb until 2003.