By ERIC TUCKER
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge who is married to a new member of Robert Mueller’s investigative team has stepped aside from lawsuits involving President Donald Trump and his business empire, court records show.
Greg Andres, a New York lawyer and former Justice Department prosecutor who specialized in foreign bribery and fraud, has joined the team of lawyers investigating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, a spokesman for the group said Wednesday.
Andres is married to Ronnie Abrams, a federal judge in Manhattan, who presided over lawsuits that accused Trump of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause by letting his businesses accept money from foreign governments. One of the cases was brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a legal nonprofit group that advocates for good government, and another was brought by New York attorney William Weinstein.
Court entries from last month show that cases have been reassigned to another judge, George Daniels. No reason was given and a call to Abrams’ chambers was referred to a spokesman for the court, who confirmed that Abrams had recused herself from the CREW matter under a section of the U.S. code that deals with judicial procedure.
The development comes as Trump’s legal team is looking into potential conflicts surrounding Mueller’s team, including the backgrounds of members and political contributions by some members to Hillary Clinton.
Politico first reported the recusal.
Mueller was appointed as special counsel in May following the firing of James Comey as FBI director. Mueller, himself as a former FBI director, has assembled a team of prosecutors and lawyers with experience in financial fraud, national security and organized crimes to investigate contacts between Moscow and the Trump campaign.