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Special counsel Mueller investigating President Trump for obstruction of justice

15 Juin 2017

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice in relation to ongoing probes of Russian influence in the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

During his own dramatic testimony before the same Senate committee last week, Comey said he felt he was sacked in large part because he refused to drop a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into possible nefarious ties between Russian officials and Trump's campaign adviser and first national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

According to the Post, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, Director of National Security Agency Mike Rogers, and Rogers' former deputy Richard Ledgett agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's team. Kasowitz's spokesman, seizing on the most important aspect of this development, told the Post that it was "outrageous, inexcusable, and illegal" that anyone was leaking "information regarding the president".

Mueller was already granted a waiver by the Justice Department to lead the investigation despite a possible conflict of interest stemming from his law firm's representation of some of the people caught up in the investigation, including former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser. "The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI", it said. Instead, Congress would have to review any findings of criminal misconduct before they would decide to begin impeachment proceedings.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, hinted broadly that the special counsel investigation could be looking at Trump during a House committee hearing on Tuesday. "But that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offense".

Mr Sessions yesterday vehemently denied any collusion with Russian Federation to tilt last year's election in Mr Trump's favour, branding the suggestion an "appalling and detestable lie".

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The letter said the investigation will also probe Comey's testimony that Loretta Lynch, as former president Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe an FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practises as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation. A spokesman for Mueller's team declined to comment.

But days later he said in an NBC interview that he had made a decision to fire Comey before getting their input and he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" when he did it.

Asked whether Trump's actions rose to the level of obstruction of justice, Comey testified last week: "I don't know".

Comey testified that initial explanations that he was sacked because of poor leadership were "lies, plain and simple".

Comey's firing has been a source of considerable controversy for the Trump administration. It is not known whether or not Comey's successor had informed Trump of the change in the probe.

Then just last week, Entous followed up by reporting a new example of Trump personally trying to interfere with an FBI investigation to protect Flynn.

Special counsel Mueller investigating President Trump for obstruction of justice