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Another prosecutor leaves Mueller investigation in latest sign probe may be winding down

Another prosecutor leaves Mueller investigation in latest sign probe may be winding down

A prosecutor who led the special counsel's case against Michael Flynn has left her post with Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's team, the second reported departure in recent weeks.

Zainab Ahmad, a top counterterrorism prosecutor, has stepped down, a spokesman for Mueller's office confirmed in a statement to The Hill. 

“Zainab Ahmad has concluded her detail with the Special Counsel’s Office but will continue to represent the office on specific pending matters that were assigned to her during her detail,” Peter Carr said.

Yahoo News first reported the development.

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Ahmad was involved in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election prior to Mueller's appointment in May 2017, Yahoo noted. She and Brandon Van Grack signed Flynn's guilty plea in late November 2017 after he admitted to lying to the FBI, it added. Flynn, who served as President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE's first national security adviser, has yet to be sentenced in the investigation.

Van Grack left the special counsel's office in October and will lead a division of Justice Department prosecutors dealing exclusively with Foreign Agent Registration Act violations.

Ahmad is the second top prosecutor to depart Mueller's team in recent weeks, raising speculation that the special counsel may be wrapping up his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

The special counsel's office confirmed last week that Andrew Weissmann will teach at New York University and work on public service projects. 

Mueller's investigation has thus far implicated six former Trump associates and more than 20 Russians.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortProsecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik New York court rules Manafort can't be prosecuted by Manhattan DA MORE was sentenced last week to additional prison time as part of the probe, bringing his total sentence to 7 1/2 years.

However, Mueller also requested last week that a federal judge further postpone sentencing for Manafort associate Richard Gates on account of cooperation in “several ongoing investigations," a potential sign that the probe still has legs.

— This report was updated at 8:08 a.m.