Senior prosecutor leaves Robert Mueller’s team, the latest sign Russia investigation is wrapping up

The Justice Department says a senior prosecutor is leaving Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, the latest sign that Mueller’s probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government is winding down. Special Counsel spokesperson Peter Carr confirmed to CBS News that Zainab Ahmad, a top terrorism prosecutor, concluded her detail with the Special Counsel’s office but will continue to represent the office on “specific pending matters that were assigned to her during her detail.”

Ahmad, until recently an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has prosecuted more than a dozen international terrorist suspects, traveling all over the world to find witnesses and gather evidence. She has yet to lose a single case she has pursued against an international terrorist suspect.

Ahmad specifically handled the Michael Flynn case as it pertains to Mueller’s probe. President Trump’s former national security adviser was charged with making false statements to the FBI and Department of Justice to which he pleaded guilty to in 2017. As part of Flynn’s long-ranging cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation, prosecutors recommended that Flynn serve no time for the charges against him.  

Ahmad’s departure comes just days after CBS News confirmed that the lead Special Counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann is slated to depart in the near future. 

Weissmann was the FBI’s general counsel while Mueller was FBI director. In early 2015, he was selected to serve as chief of the fraud section in the Justice Department’s criminal division.  During the 1990s, Weissmann worked on a case related to the mafia and Russian organized crime that involved Felix Sater, a Trump business partner who is now a focus of Mueller’s probe.

The FBI also announced last week that David W. Archey, deputy assistant director in the Counterintelligence Division and the FBI’s senior lead at the special counsel’s office, has now been named Special Agent in Charge of the Richmond, Virginia field office. 

While senior members continue to plan their departure from Mueller’s team, Washington awaits the FBI official’s final report into his over two-year long investigation. That report, which is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks, will be handed to Attorney General William Barr, who will then summarize it to lawmakers.

Currently, Mueller’s probe has yielded seven guilty pleas and 99.5 months in prison served, and 34 individuals and three separate companies have been charged.

CBS News’ Paula Reid, Andres Triay and Emily Tillett contributed to this report. 

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