The earth is being scorched by the stunningly large team he has assembled, which includes 16 other prosecutors (among them, Democratic party donors and activists) along with dozens of investigators (mostly from the FBI and IRS).
Note that the lawyer for Manafort and Gates was forced to testify against her clients based on the theory that she had participated — however unwittingly — in their scheme to cover up their lobbying efforts on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.
Aggressively, Mueller’s team contended that even if the lawyer had not intended to help her clients mislead the government, their use of her services was intended to dupe the government. As we’ve previously explained, the Justice Department refused to invoke the crime-fraud exception to explore what advice Clinton lawyers gave her information technology contractor before he supposedly took it on himself to delete and destroy her emails.
Manafort has been charged with multiple felonies for failure to register as a foreign agent, an offense the government almost never prosecutes — the Justice Department’s practice is to encourage foreign agents to comply with the law rather than indict them for failing to do so.
By contrast, the FBI and Justice Department rationalized their failure to charge Clinton for mishandling classified information by claiming that her offense was so rarely prosecuted that it would be unfair — it would smack of invidious selective prosecution — to charge her with even a single offense.
That, Mueller argued, brought their communications with the lawyer under the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege. As a result, the lawyer’s communications with Manafort and Gates lost their confidentiality protection, such that Mueller could compel her to reveal them to the grand jury. Furthermore, the Justice Department and the FBI tolerated unlawful arrangements whereby subjects of the investigation were permitted to act as private lawyers in the probe regarding matters in which they had been involved as government officials.