Instant Alert: Special prosecutor abruptly named to probe Trump-Russia ties

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  Special prosecutor abruptly named to probe Trump-Russia ties by Eric Tucker, Julie Pace And Nancy Benac on May 18, 2017, 3:26 AM WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller (MUHL’-ur) as a special counsel to lead a federal investigation into allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign collaborated with Russia to sway the 2016 election that put him in the White House.Mueller will have sweeping powers and the authority to prosecute any crimes he uncovers.The surprise announcement to hand the probe over to Mueller, a lawman with deep bipartisan respect, was a striking shift for Trump’s Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly loud calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.It immediately escalated the legal stakes — and the potential political damage — for a president who has tried to dismiss the matter as partisan witch hunt and a “hoax.”  
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