- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The IRS and special counsel Robert Mueller have resolved a nasty turf battle that raged earlier this summer over sharing key Trump campaign officials’ financial and tax information as part of Mr. Mueller’s probe into the Russian election hacking scandal.

Officials briefed on the matter have anonymously said Mr. Mueller and the tax agency’s Criminal Investigations Unit have reached a deal ato allow the special counsels’ investigators access to key data. Treasury Department officials reportedly refereed the dispute then negotiated a settlement, according to CNN.

Left unanswered is whether Mr. Mueller’s team will get to see President Trump’s past tax records as part of its probe, records Mr. Trump has long resisted making public.

There were also reports Wednesday that Mr. Mueller will soon start interviewing current and former White House staffers involved in drafting the initial statement Donald Trump Jr. provided in response to his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, which was also attended by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

White House communications director Hope Hicks, former press secretary Sean Spicer, former Chief of Staff ReincePriebus, White House counsel Don McGahn, senior associate counsel James Burnham, and Josh Raffel, a White House spokesman who works with Mr. Kushner, are among those Mr. Mueller’s team seeks to interview.

The IRS Criminal Investigations Unit specializes in tax-related and money-laundering crimes. Under the agreement, which CNN first reported, the IRS has shared with Mr. Mueller’s investigators tax return-related financial information, including real estate and banking records, regarding Mr. Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Both men are under investigation in the DOJ’s probe, in addition to multiple congressional investigations into the Russia issue.

CNN reported that if Mr. Mueller’s team did obtain Mr. Trump’s tax returns, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosensteinwould have had to approve the move, given his oversight role over the DOJ investigation the overall sensitivity of the issue.

Tensions between the IRS and Mr. Mueller’s team also surfaced during this summer’s FBI raid of Mr. Manafort’s Alexandria, Va. home, according to multiple sources. The IRS reportedly didn’t join the FBI raid because of objections the search would interfere with a different IRS investigation they had into the former Trump campaign chairman’s finances.

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