The special counsel overseeing the probe into Russia's alleged meddling in the USA election is now looking at whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, the Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing unnamed officials.
Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Comey had been leading the FBI investigation into Trump's campaign team, and whether it colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election, when he was dismissed on May 9.
Considering it was the firing of Comey that got him under investigation in the first place, one would think that if President Trump truly does believe he's innocent, he'd refrain from repeating that mistake with Mueller and worsening his political and legal troubles yet further.
The obstruction of justice investigation into the president began days after Comey was sacked on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter.
Specifically, they write, "five people briefed" say that Mueller's team will soon interview Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers, along with Rogers's former deputy, who recently left the government.
News that Mueller is now investigating Trump for obstruction of justice comes amid reports that Trump has discussed whether to remove the special counsel.
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The next day, Trump told two Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting that by firing Comey, who he reportedly called a "nut job", he had taken "great pressure" off himself, according toThe New York Times. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy and it's unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.
A phone request from the president to each Coats and Rogers a few days later asked for public statements denying coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russians, the officials told the Post. 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. That was something that Special Consul Mueller would have to examine, Comey had said.
A spokesman for Trump's lawyer said in a statement that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation leak regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable, and illegal", but did not dispute the accuracy of the report.
The White House on Wednesday evening declined to comment about the Post's obstruction-of-justice report.
Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that he was certain his firing was due to the president's concerns about the Russian Federation probe, rather than over his handling of a now-closed FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, as the White House had initially asserted.
An hour after the "nice" tweet, Trump continued to reiterate his stance that the investigation was a farce, tweeting again that it was a "witch hunt".