Mueller investigating Trump for obstruction of justice, Washington Post reports
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 8:36
Officials told the Washington Post that Special Counsel Mueller was now looking into whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice, one of the most disputed claims debated during former FBI Director James Comey's testimony.
Ruddy appeared to be basing his remarks, at least in part, on comments from Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump's legal team, who told ABC in an interview Sunday that he was "not going to speculate" on whether Trump might at some point order Rosenstein to fire Mueller.
Sanders said the president was encouraged by reports surrounding Senate testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
What has Trump said about Russia's role in the election?
The revelation came after Ruddy was at the White House on Monday for a meeting with Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Coats was attending a briefing at the White House then with officials from other government agencies.
And he essentially warned Trump that if Mueller were to be fired, Rosenstein wouldn't be the one to do it, saying he saw no "good cause" to consider such a move. "The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal", it says.
The president previously said that fired FBI Director James Comey assured him in private conversation that he was not under investigation.
It wasn't clear whether Ruddy, who speaks with the president often, was basing his remarks on a specific conversation with the president or entirely on Sekulow's comments. The attorney general, Elliot Richardson, resigned rather than doing so, putting the onus on deputy attorney general William Ruckelshaus, who also chose to resign.
In Mueller's case, Trump would have to ask Rosenstein to do the firing.
A number of key Republicans have publicly advised Trump to keep Mueller. Russian Federation is up to no good.
It is not all that surprising to learn that Trump is now under investigation for obstruction, given what we learned from Comey last week about his interactions with the president as well as Trump's own public admission that "this Russian Federation thing" was on his mind when he made the decision to fire Comey. "I know I was sacked because of something about the way I was conducting the Russian Federation investigation, was in some way putting pressure on him, in some way irritating him, and he chose to fire me because of that", Comey said in his June 8 testimony.
While a sitting president is unlikely to face criminal prosecution, obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment.
It would be hard to make the case, he said, that the experience of interviewing for Federal Bureau of Investigation director would make it impossible for Mueller to fairly exercise the broad discretion afforded to prosecutors.
But Stephen Gillers, a New York University professor who specializes in legal and judicial ethics, said the Mueller interview with Trump presented "no conflict whatsoever". We have viewed much of the talk to date about impeachment as overheated.