Mueller probing whether Trump obstructed justice
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 22:12
Trump had received private assurances from then FBI director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation.
It quoted five people briefed on the requests and said those who have agreed to be interviewed are Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, Admiral Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and his recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett.
The president's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, told reporters immediately after the Senate hearing that Trump "never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone".
"The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", spokesman Mark Corallo said. Yet he says he does not have the power to invoke executive privilege, and the president has not asserted it.
The reported moves by Mueller and his team, while potentially significant, would not be surprising, especially with the heads of the top intelligence agencies that publicly stated during the 2016 campaign Russian Federation had hacked the American election.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich led one line of attack with a tweet that said "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter offered a similar message, tweeting, "Now that we know TRUMP IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION, Sessions should take it back & fire Mueller". It's possible those actions too will be considered by the special counsel. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey's firing. Sessions recused himself from investigations related to the Trump campaign in February, a move that also provoked Trump's ire.
After a day of speculation, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so". Reached by ABC News, special counsel spokesman Peter Carr offered no comment.
Mueller was appointed special counsel after Comey's firing.
As for his role in Comey's firing, Sessions told senators that he and his second-in-command, Rosenstein, had a "clear view. that we had problems there, and it was my best judgment that a fresh start at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was the appropriate thing to do". Sheldon Whitehouse, the top Democrat on a subcommittee of the Judiciary panel, said: "As someone who served in the Department of Justice, I would love to know what he is talking about".
This is why the "news" producers treated former FBI Director Jim Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee as a Watergate moment, a first impeachment hearing to be broadcast live on every "news" channel on television. The committee can also work with the Trump administration to come up with a solution.