We learned this week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team investigating the Trump-Russia scandal have begun working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), whose office is also scrutinizing relevant players in the controversy. It's an important revelation: if charges are eventually filed against anyone involved in the affair, Donald Trump wouldn't be able to issue pardons to anyone accused of state crimes.
But according to The Daily Beast, this isn't the only office Mueller and his team are working with.
Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS' Criminal Investigations unit.
This unit -- known as CI -- is one of the federal government's most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller's said he always liked working with IRS' special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.
And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump's tax returns -- documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public.
NBC News has not verified The Daily Beast's reporting, though as Joy noted on last night's show, the trajectory of the probe makes sense.
The president, you'll recall, recently said he expects -- and to a certain extent, demands -- that Mueller's investigation will steer clear of his finances. That's never been an especially realistic expectation: if the probe leads to questions about whether the president has been compromised by a foreign adversary, it stands to reason the investigation will include a financial component.
All of which gives Trump and his allies another reason to worry about the seriousness of this scandal.