WASHINGTON — The routine was always the same. President Trump’s lawyers would drive to heavily secured offices near the National Mall, surrender their cellphones, head into a windowless conference room and resume tense negotiations over whether the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, would interview Mr. Trump. But Mr. Mueller was not always there. Instead, the lawyers tangled with a team of prosecutors, including a little known but formidable adversary: Andrew D. Goldstein, 44, a former Time magazine reporter who is now a lead prosecutor for Mr. Mueller in the investigation into whether the president obstructed justice.
Mr. Mueller is often portrayed as the omnipotent fact-gatherer, but it is Mr. Goldstein who has a much more involved, day-to-day role in one of the central lines of investigation. Goldstein — a donor to President Barack Obama’s campaigns — has a history of corruption himself