Apr 22, 2019

How CNN's team staked out Mueller's office for over a year

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mueller obsessives will enjoy this account by four CNN journalists who staked out the special counsel's office every weekday f0r 18 months — Sam Fossum, Em Steck, Liz Stark and Caroline Kelly.

How it happened: "Our mornings followed a pretty standard routine: one of us would arrive around 6:50 a.m., set up our camera by the garage, and look for Mueller and his team to arrive. ... The unofficial FBI uniform of a bright white dress shirt — Mueller does not like his team wearing shirts with patterns — ... helped to spot people."

  • "[W]hen a group of people — prosecutors, FBI agents, DOJ paralegals or administrative personnel — headed to the garage, we could ... send a heads up to our colleagues at U.S. District Court."

And the big score:

Prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky ... frequently zipped into work on a motorized scooter ... But on one memorable Thursday in January, ... Zelinsky walked into work with a small suitcase ... His charcoal helmet, which he wears while usually scootering or biking into the office, was noticeably absent. We knew Zelinsky was ... working on matters relating to Roger Stone ...[W]e ... spotted Zelinsky leaving the office in casual clothes with his suitcase and briefcase. He then walked ... to a nearby hotel, where he hailed a cab. ...
Back at the CNN office, reporters covering the investigation put this clue, along with the grand jury session on a Thursday, rather than the usual Friday, together and guessed that Stone may have been indicted. CNN sent a producer and camera to his home in Florida that night, and sure enough, less than 12 hours later, captured the dramatic pre-dawn arrest on video.

Go deeper: 7 takeaways from the Mueller report

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

There are no COVID-19 patients in hospital in New Zealand, which reported just 21 active cases. A top NZ health official said Tuesday he's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission."

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Coronavirus antibody tests are still relatively unreliable, and it's unclear if people who get the virus are immune to getting it again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned on Tuesday.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,588,299 — Total deaths: 350,417 — Total recoveries — 2,286,827Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,680,625 — Total deaths: 98,902 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy