Prosecutors ramp up foreign lobbying probe in New York

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spinning off from the special counsel’s Russia probe, prosecutors are ramping up their investigation into foreign lobbying by two major Washington firms that did work for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

That’s according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The probe had been quiet for months since special counsel Robert Mueller referred it to authorities in Manhattan because it fell outside his mandate of investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

But in a flurry of new activity, Justice Department prosecutors have begun interviewing witnesses and contacting lawyers to schedule additional questioning related to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs.

The New York work underscores the broad effects of Mueller’s investigation.

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