President Trump Confirms He Is Under Investigation for Obstruction of Justice
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 17, 2017,
Jun 17, 2017, 2:13
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's move to investigate whether Donald Trump sought to get the Federal Bureau of Investigation to back off from a probe of his former national security adviser has angered the president and raised the stakes in the inquiry of Russian meddling in the us election.
Trump's digital volley appeared to be trained at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who recommended the firing last month of James Comey - an nearly unprecedented move that could yet imperil Trump's presidency.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who took over after Attorney General Jeff Sessions removed himself from the investigation in March, reportedly said in a meeting with Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand that there was a possibility he would recuse himself from the probe that has dogged Trump before and since he took office, ABC News reported Friday.
Trump's young presidency has been battered by allegations - under investigation both by Congress and the FBI - that Russian Federation interfered to sway the 2016 election in his favor, in possible collusion with Trump's campaign team.
"Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russian Federation are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?" the president posted of his former Democratic rival for president. "Witch Hunt", the president said on Twitter.
The Twitter attacks came as Vice President Mike Pence hired a personal lawyer to represent him in the intensifying investigation. Instead, he temporarily put aside his usual early morning tweetstorm and settled for a broad brush dismissal of Mr. Comey's precisely implied argument that Mr. Trump was bringing a case of obstruction of justice upon himself.
As part of his probe into possible obstruction, Mueller has requested interviews with senior intelligence officials about their conversations with Trump, a former senior intelligence official with knowledge of the discussions confirmed to NBC News.
The panel is conducting both open hearings and closed sessions as it investigates Russian efforts to influence last year's campaign.
United States intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favour.
As former Sen. John Danforth, who as a special counsel investigated the 1993 Waco siege disaster, has said: "You can't have an investigation that is dribbled out there in bits and pieces and suspicions".
Trump and other officials from his team have long denied that there was any coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, suggesting that the investigations amount to a "witch hunt". "We're not and the only person responsible for that is the president with these very controversial tweets today", he said.
Mueller and Comey "are close, close friends and the conflict of interest is so apparent", Kallstrom said. Several congressional committees are also investigating the Russian Federation matter. "Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!", Trump tweeted.
On Friday morning - still upset - Trump berated the press again.
In light of Trump's concern about leaks, it's possible that Rosenstein's Thursday night statement was aiming to appease a president who has himself often criticized the news media for citing unnamed sources. These officials claim Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, head of the National Security Agency Adm. Mike Rogers, and Rogers' recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's investigators as soon as this week.