Thursday, June 15, 2017

Special Counsel Probing Trump for Possible Obstruction: Report

By Greg Richter / NEWSMAX

Image: Special Counsel Probing Trump for Possible Obstruction: ReportSpecial counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice, The Washington Post reported Wednesday night.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, the Post said the probe expanded from possible Russian collusion after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, whose agency had been looking at the Russia issue.
Five sources told the Post that interviews are being conducted with senior intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Rogers' former Deputy Director Richard Ledgett. It is not known whether others are being interviewed.

The NSA released a statement saying it would "fully cooperate with the special counsel," while Rogers' office and Ledgett didn't comment.

A spokesman for Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz, who is the point man for questions regarding the special counsel probe, slammed the report, saying "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal."

The Post's sources said Coats, Rogers and Ledgett intend to appear voluntarily, but it is not clear how much information they would share or whether they would invoke executive privilege. Though, the Post noted, the Supreme Court ruled during the Watergate investigation that executive privilege could not be used in criminal investigations.

Sari Horwitz, one of the reporters who wrote the Post's story, told CNN's Erin Burnett that Trump was not aware the probe had been expanded until contacted by the newspaper.

"We called the White House, and the White House was not aware of it, Horwitz said. "We called his lawyer. It does not appear that he was aware of it until we got in touch with White House officials and his lawyer."
 
Mueller is overseeing the FBI's probe, and the expansion into obstruction of justice occurred days after Trump fired Comey, the Post said.

Comey confirmed during congressional testimony last week that he had told the president that he was not personally under investigation in the probe of whether any of his campaign staff colluded with the Russian government to affect November's election.

But Comey testified he felt Trump was seeking personal loyalty from him in private meetings and that he had conveyed a wish to drop his probe against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's connections to Russian officials.
Trump has denied Comey's allegations.

Mueller's office would not discuss the report.

Other statements Trump has made regarding why he fired Comey or on the Russian probe are also being looked at. Trump reportedly told Russian officials he met at the Oval Office he had relieved "great pressure" after firing Comey.

In addition to possible obstruction, the investigation is looking into business dealings of members of Trump's staff and any meetings any of them had with Russians, according to the Post.

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