Russia criminal investigation expands to include senior WH official close to Trump: WaPo

"The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks."

A huge scoop from Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post:

The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.

The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.

The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said.

The sources emphasized that investigators remain keenly interested in people who previously wielded influence in the Trump campaign and administration but are no longer part of it, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Sources told WaPo the intensifying probe doesn't mean criminal charges are coming right away, or that charges will result.

Earlier this week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed ex FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel and lead the investigation into Russian meddling... and whatever else they find.

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