RADFORD, Va. - Charges Monday against top officials from President Donald Trump's campaign bring a new phase of the investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of the Trump team.
A professor in southwest Virginia has firsthand experience with special counsel, and former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Dr. Luke William Hunt took part in FBI investigations as a special agent for seven years under Robert Mueller, which included going to meetings with him, and now teaches criminal justice at Radford University.
Hunt said Monday to 10 News that Mueller's actions are in-line with how he operated in his 12 years as head of the FBI.
"What he's done is put together a very skilled team of prosecutors and law enforcement officials who are going to try to get to the bottom of what's going on," Hunt said.
He said part of that process is getting people facing charges, like former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to be more cooperative than they otherwise would.
"We're trying to get Mr. Manafort to provide additional information, and one thing that really motivates people to assist the government is facing federal prison time," he said.
Many people have questioned how many people will be involved in the investigation and whether Manafort's information is the key to finding and charging those people.
"These sorts of investigations are notorious for expanding and perhaps going beyond the constraints," Hunt said.
He said even if certain charges don't relate to Russia, Mueller might think it's relevant to other types of corruption.
Hunt said based on his experience with Mueller, the former FBI director is used to the pressure and attention that comes with high-profile investigations.
"Someone like Mueller is able to block that out. He has a job to do, and he's going to focus on what that mission is, what that job is," he said.
He added that Mueller is a straight shooter and is well-respected.
"There were certainly people within the Bureau who had different views about the direction of the Bureau, but nevertheless people never doubted his integrity and his commitment to the government," he said.
Hunt said Monday's developments could be just one step in a lengthy investigation.
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