Special counsel Robert Mueller has assembled a team of 16 seasoned prosecutors
By ALEX HOSENBALL MIKE LEVINE PIERRE THOMAS ABC NEWS Sep 29, 2017, 5:18 PM ET
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has assembled a team of more than a dozen seasoned prosecutors to probe Russian interference in the 2016 election, including any potential collusion between Russian agents and members of Donald Trump’s campaign.
In addition to a squad of agents from the FBI and the IRS, Mueller has 16 attorneys on staff, a spokesperson for Special Counsel Robert Mueller confirmed to ABC News, but only 14 of them have been identified publicly.
These 14 attorneys are confirmed members of Mueller’s team:
Zainab Ahmad is an attorney on detail from the Eastern District of New York. Ahmad made a name for herself prosecuting terrorist suspects in New York, including Lawal Babafemi and Najibullah Zazi, the would-be al-Qaeda subway bomber. The authorities initially tracked down Zazi by following information from Ahmad’s prosecution of Abid Naseer, a Pakistani man who had been plotting an attack on a shopping center in the United Kingdom. Before leaving EDNY, Zainab also attained the position of Deputy Chief at their National Security and Cybercrime Section.
Greg Andres, a former partner at Davis Polk, is a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Andres is a Justice Department veteran specializing in financial crimes. He gained a wealth of experience in anti-corruption matters both in the public and the private sector, including insider trading, money laundering and tax fraud. Andres has given $3,800 to Democratic candidates and causes, including $1,100 to David Hoffman during his Senate race in 2009 and $2,700 to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2017.
Rush Atkinson is an attorney on detail from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, where he’s worked as a trial attorney for the past three years. In 2016, Atkinson prosecuted a multimillion-dollar fraud case against the heads of a public charter flight company.
Michael Dreeben is an appellate attorney on detail from the Office of the Solicitor General, where he’s served since 1995, including a stint under now-Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. He is thought to have an encyclopedic knowledge of criminal law and has argued over 100 cases in the Supreme Court. Harold Koh, the former Obama Administration Legal Adviser to the State Department, worked with Dreeben and compared him to NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. Koh calls Dreeben “the best in the business… [he’s] the best appellate criminal law specialist in the country.”
Kyle Freeney is an attorney on detail from the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section. In 2016, she was part of a Department of Justice team seeking to recover over $1 billion from an alleged corrupt Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
Andrew Goldstein is an attorney on detail from the Southern District of New York. Preet Bharara’s Public Corruption chief, Andrew Goldstein received the Director’s Award from the Bharara in 2015. At that time, Goldstein investigated and prosecuted the CityTime case, which the Department of Justice then referred to as “the largest municipal fraud and kickback scheme in history.” Goldstein received further praise from Bharara upon his June appointment to the Mueller probe, as Bharara tweeted, “Best of best in every way. Fair, tough, smart.”
Adam Jed is an appellate attorney on detail from the Civil Division. A former clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Jed received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service in 2014, following his work on the successful implementation of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, a major victory for LGBT rights against the Defense of Marriage Act.
Elizabeth Prelogar is an appellate attorney on detail from the Office of the Solicitor General. Prelogar reportedly joined the Mueller probe in June. She previously clerked for both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan and earned an Overseas Press Club Award for work studying Russian media. She majored in Russian and English during her undergraduate studies at Emory University.
James Quarles is a former partner at WilmerHale and a former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. . Recently served as a partner at WilmerHale’s Litigation/Controversy Department. FEC records show Quarles has contributed over almost $33,000 to Democratic candidates since 1987, as well as $2,500 to Republican Jason Chaffetz in 2015 and $250 to Republican Senator George Allen in 2005.
Jeannie Rhee is a former partner at WilmerHale who has served in the Office of Legal Counsel and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. Mueller’s appointment of Rhee has brought the ire of conservative commentators, owing to her 2015 defense of the Hillary Clinton in a case regarding her emails, and large sums she had donated to Democratic campaigns – $5400 to Hillary Clinton in 2015 and 2016, and $4800 to the Obama campaign in 2008 and 2011.
Brandon Van Grack is an attorney on detail from the National Security Division. He served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General at the National Security Division before joining the Eastern District of Virginia as a Special Assistant to the US Attorney for national security and international crime.
Andrew Weissmann is an attorney on detail from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, who has served as general counsel at the FBI under Director Mueller and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Before joining the FBI, Weissmann oversaw the Enron Task Force from 2002 to 2005, including the prosecution of Jeffrey Skilling, Kenneth Lay and Andrew Fastow. Before that, Weissmann served in the Eastern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, where the Justice Department says he was “instrumental in bringing to justice high-ranking members” of New York’s toughest crime families. Weissmann gave $2,000 to the DNC in 2006, at least $2,300 for Hillary Clinton in 2007 and $2,300 to Obama in 2008.
Aaron Zebley is a former partner at WilmerHale who has previously served with Mr. Mueller at the FBI and has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. Zebley served as chief of staff to both Mueller and his successor as FBI Director James Comey. Zebley most recently served as Senior Counselor in the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Before his time at the FBI, Zebley investigated national security matters for the US Attorney’s office in Alexandria, VA and as a FBI Special Agent in the Counterterrorism Division.
Aaron Zelinsky is an attorney on detail from the District of Maryland. Before Zelinsky’s appointment to the Mueller team, he worked under the man who appointed Mueller special counsel – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Zelinsky worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney under Rosenstein during the latter’s time as U.S. Attorney in Maryland. While in Maryland, Zelinsky earned an award for Excellence in Prosecution of Organized Crime. Additionally, Zelinsky has clerked for retired Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court. Harold Koh, formerly of the State Department, says he brought Zelinsky in as a Special Assistant at the State Department, where he worked the cases of Americans held hostage abroad. Koh calls Zelinsky “an incredible team leader.”
The team has also lost two FBI veterans.
Peter Strzok, who had been tapped by Mueller to help lead the probe, left the team over the summer, sources told ABC News in August. As chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section, he helped oversee the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was the secretary of state. His office was also involved in investigating Russia’s alleged efforts to influence last year’s presidential election, including hacking of Democratic National Committee computers. It’s unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller’s team.
Lisa Page, described as a trial attorney with “deep experience [in] money laundering and organized crime cases,” left around the same time as Strzok and returned to work in the office of the FBI’s general counsel, a spokesperson for the special counsel confirmed to ABC News in September. According to one source, Page joined Mueller’s team on a short, temporary assignment and always expected to return as soon as that assignment ended.