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Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is shown testifying before a 2013 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing when he was FBI director. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters). Republican activists and lawmakers are engaged in a multi-front attack on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of possible connections between associates of President Trump and Russian agents, trying to stop or curtail the investigation as it moves further into Trump’s inner circle. For months, the president and his allies have been seizing on any whiff of possible impropriety by Mueller’s team or the FBI to argue that the Russia probe is stacked against Trump — potentially building the political support needed to dismiss the special counsel. Full story

7 December