Special counsel probing Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice

Claudine Rigal
Juin 16, 2017

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

Former United States attorney Barbara McQuade, who served under the Barack Obama administration, told the Daily Beast if Trump fired Mueller "and it could be shown that his objective was to impede the investigation, it could be additional evidence of obstruction of justice".

He declined further comment.

The comments come amid reports that the special counsel is seeking to interview intelligence officials who reportedly were asked by Trump to help tamp down the notion of any Trump campaign collusion with the Russians.

"The FBI's leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal, " said Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump's outside legal team. The Post report did not name the Federal Bureau of Investigation as its source. Former FBI Director James Comey told Congress last week he believes he was sacked by Trump to undermine the agency's Russian Federation probe.

Comey testified that initial explanations that he was sacked because of poor leadership were "lies, plain and simple".

Under oath last week, Comey testified to Congress that in a meeting with Trump, he was told by the president: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".

The Washington Post previously reported that Trump also asked Rogers and Coats to push back against the FBI's investigation.

The panel announced Thursday that Johnson will testify June 21. On three occasions, Comey said he was not. Incredibly, less than six months into Trump's presidency, there is no disputing that the Russian government deliberately interfered with an American presidential election. Trump disputed, though, Comey's assertion he had asked for a pledge of loyalty.

The Senate intelligence committee has also interviewed Johnson in connection with its investigation of Russian activities during last year's election campaign. On Monday, a Trump friend said the president was considering dismissing Mueller although the White House said later he had no plans to do so. The New York Times also reported the story.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller on May 17, testified on Tuesday that he would not fire the special counsel without "good cause". However, the subject matter of the underlying investigation may extend to financial crimes, putting Trump's and his associates' worldwide business dealings under the microscope. "The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI", it said.

Mueller has spent the last two weeks hiring high-powered prosecutors.

While a sitting president is unlikely to face criminal prosecution, obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment.

That isn't true anymore, according to reporting by The Washington Post on Wednesday night.

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