Trump lashes out over probe into possible obstruction of justice

17 June, 2017, 08:37 | Author: Michele Stevens
  • Rod Rosenstein says he has no reason to fire Robert Mueller

The Washington Post first reported Wednesday that Mueller's probe was widening to include looking into whether Trump obstructed justice.

Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation.

In addition to investigating possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, which Comey confirmed was underway on March 20, the special counsel will probe for "any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates".

But that changed just days after Trump fired Comey, according to the Post. The Post suggests Mr Comey's "carefully worded comments" could mean the investigation into Mr Trump began soon after Mr Comey was sacked. Trump reportedly asked Coats on March 22, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo still in the room, if he there was a way to get Comey to back off the FBI's Flynn investigation.

This new tentacle of the year-long FBI investigation, now being handled by Mueller, unfolded days after FBI Director James Comey was sacked by Trump on May 9.

Feinstein has said the Judiciary Committee should investigate, but had asked Grassley to keep the investigations separate. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.

A spokesperson for Trump's personal lawyer issued a statement that conspicuously did not deny the story, merely saying, "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable, and illegal". They said that these three have agreed to interviews with Mueller's team.

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A few days later, Trump spoke separately with Coats and Rogers and asked them to issue public statements to the effect that there was no evidence of coordination between his campaign and Russian Federation. According to the officials that spoke with the Post, Coats told associates that the president asked about intervening with Comey in regards to the investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.

As part of the probe, the special counsel has also gathered Comey's written accounts of his conversations with Trump.

Mueller has not publicly discussed his work, and a spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

"I appointed him; I stand by that decision, " he said.

"Chris was speaking for himself and did not speak to the president", a White House official told Roll Call in an email late Monday.

Examining such possible charges will allow investigators to interview key people within the administration including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein and possibly Trump, the source told Reuters.

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