Reports say Mueller probe now examining possible obstruction

18 June, 2017, 00:05 | Author: Michele Stevens

"Coons's comment came hours after Trump called the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between his campaign staff and Russian Federation the "single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history". In a series of tweets, Trump asked why Hillary Clinton's family and the Democratic party were not being investigated for dealings with Russian Federation, while his "non-dealings" were.

Shortly after Trump fired Comey, a Justice Department official tapped Mueller to take up the investigation as a special counsel.

A Trump confidant said this week the president had considered firing Mueller. He has already been subpoenaed by the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee. Last week, former FBI Director James Comey told Congress he believed he was sacked by Trump to undermine the agency's Russian Federation investigation.

"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired", Feinstein said.

Evidence that shows any wrongdoing by Trump "remains highly dubious", she wrote, adding, "There is no reason to believe that Russian Federation backed Trump - or even believed he could win".

The transition official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss post-election decisions publicly. Those associates include former national security adviser Michael Flynn, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, foreign policy aide Carter Page and outside adviser Roger Stone.

In a sign of the newfound seriousness of Mueller's investigation, Vice President Mike Pence's office confirmed that he has hired an attorney to deal with the special counsel investigation.

White House torn over Mueller's role as pressure grows
Mueller was appointed special counsel after Trump fired former FBI director James Comey, who was heading up the investigation. And unless there was sufficient reason to fire Mueller, he offered, "it wouldn't matter what anybody said".

On Wednesday, Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz suggested - without providing evidence - that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had leaked details of the criminal probe.

"Trump is furious that he has become a subject of Mueller's investigation, because this is bound to weaken his beleaguered presidency further", she wrote. In a second tweet, Trump touted his "powerful" presence on social media, despite widespread criticism that his recurring rants on Twitter and other online media have only compounded his legal and political problems.

In light of Trump's concern about leaks, it's possible that Rosenstein's Thursday night statement was aiming to appease a president who has himself often criticized the news media for citing unnamed sources.

He followed that up 12 minutes later with a second tweet: "Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, "bleached" emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?" And Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized his use of Twitter, particularly amid the ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump advisers and confidants describe the president as increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets in the White House carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy to discredit - and potentially end - his presidency.

Trump has called The Washington Post report a "phony story" and a "WITCH HUNT".

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