El Chapo Feds Want to Root Out Moles On Legal Team

3/22/2017 1:00 AM PDT

Feds Want To Root Out Moles on El Chapo's Legal Team

EXCLUSIVE

El Chapo could compromise hundreds, possibly thousands of federal drug investigations with a well-placed mole on his legal team ... that's the fear of federal officials.

We've learned Chapo's legal team will become privy to thousands of sensitive DEA documents that chronicle his activities in the international drug trade. The worry ... that the lawyers Chapo hires will use the info to warn other drug kingpins of the DEA's moves, compromising the investigations.

Prosecutors went to court and asked the federal judge in Brooklyn who is presiding over Chapo's drug trafficking case to allow them to screen every potential foreign lawyer on Chapo's legal team to make sure they're on the up-and-up.

The judge issued an order, obtained by TMZ, in which he allowed them to appoint a specific lawyer to do the screening.

Turns out, there's even a special name for this type of lawyer -- a "firewall attorney." It's someone who works in the U.S. Attorney's Office but is not involved in the Chapo case. It does raise questions ... they're all in the same office, after all. Nonetheless, the judge approved it.

If the firewall attorney thinks one or more of Chapo's lawyers are shady, a recommendation will go to the judge who could prevent the lawyer from joining the defense team.