Mueller may have an unexpected reason for teaming up with New York's attorney general

Key Points
  • Robert Mueller's team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as part of its investigation into Paul Manafort, according to Politico
  • The two teams have reportedly shared evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering
  • Manafort was the former chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign

Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation and his team are reportedly working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as part of the federal probe into Paul Manafort, according to Politico.

Robert S. Mueller III
Andrew Burton | Getty Images

The report, citing sources, said the teamwork could give Mueller additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate with the broader investigation into President Donald Trump's election campaign. Manafort was the former campaign chairman for Trump.

The pairing between state and federal teams is potential significant because experts say Trump does not have the power to pardon state crimes. Still, the Politico report said that no decision had been made on where or whether to file charges, and Manafort has previously said he did not engage in wrongdoing.

Trump has reportedly said before that, as president, he had the power to pardon relatives, aides and likely even himself in response to the Russia investigations.

Mueller is investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin. The president has repeatedly called it a "witch hunt," has denied any collusion with Moscow and has been critical of Mueller.

Politico said Mueller and Schneiderman's teams have shared evidence and talked regularly in recent weeks about a potential case — they have reportedly collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering.

Representatives for Mueller's office and the New York attorney general's office declined to comment to Politico.

In July, the FBI raided Manafort's home after he willingly met with Senate Intelligence Committee staff, according to reports.

NBC News reported the search "is tied to the intense investigation" into Manafort's "business dealings and financial relationships both in the U.S. and abroad." That includes "records tied to Manafort's activities in Ukraine, Cyprus and other parts of the world," according to NBC.

Read the full Politico report on Mueller teaming up with New York attorney general.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.