Special Counsel Robert Mueller meets with House Russia investigators
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 21:21
He and his team are now assessing former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's recent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, reviewing Comey's memos documenting his encounters with Trump, and preparing to interview certain administration officials - such as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers - regarding press accounts of comments the president allegedly made to them about the Russian Federation probe.
On CNN's "New Day", Sekulow argued that the president is not under investigation, despite his tweet and a Washington Post report suggesting otherwise, because the White House hasn't been informed that he is.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace seized on a mistake made by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, and dunked on him using his own words. But ThePost reported that Coats had told associates Trump had asked him to intervene with Comey when he was still FBI Director, to take the heat off former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and that Trump had asked Coats and Rogers to publicly deny any evidence of collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 election. "Which also makes you wonder why they'd pick a guy who is Comey's close friend to investigate a situation in which inevitably involves Comey".
"This is a political fight and he's going to fight it", said a White House official.
But while Republicans are more critical now of the president's actions related to the investigation, they don't seem to think the investigation itself is such a big deal. Sekulow had told Wallace twice in the interview that Trump was under investigation and then said he wasn't.
In any case, that's it. Mueller is interviewing some people about Trump's firing of James Comey, but Trump has not been notified that he's under investigation. On Meet the Press, he said, "But when you see a tweet, okay, or a utilization of social media, and the president has, I mean, his social media reach is over a hundred million".
In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, Rosenstein pledged that Mueller would maintain his independence and said he would not follow orders to fire the special counsel unless he believes "those are lawful and appropriate orders".
That means that the judiciary panel could be the main body in Congress to investigate whether Trump improperly used his authority to urge Comey to back off an investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
A full-scale investigation has not yet been launched, although preliminary work is clearly being done, according to sources familiar with the process.
"I mean you've got great ratings, no doubt about it, Chris", he told Chris Wallace.
But while Mueller mulls over that decision, more and more voices are being raised calling for him to step aside due to a serious conflict of interest that probe would represent.
As Sekulow continued to insist that an investigation into Trump doesn't exist, Cuomo grew more agitated.
"I don't know what the facts will show or what the special counsel will conclude, but Kasowitz, Sekulow & Dowd is not the dream team", he tweeted after the Fox News exchange.
Sekulow defending Trump was nothing new.