Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Special counsel Mueller investigating Trump for obstruction of justice

Melinda Barton | 20 June, 2017, 02:40

The move was confirmed by a transition official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss post-election decisions.

President Trump shot back on Thursday at reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating him for obstruction of justice, calling it a "phony story".

About a week later, Mueller, another former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, was appointed, over Trump's opposition, as special counsel to lead the criminal probe.

Rosenstein was also the author of a letter in May to Trump, criticising the performance of FBI Director James Comey. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who said she's anxious that the President will try to fire both Mueller and Rosenstein.

Also unclear was whether the president's comment confirming he was under investigation was based on direct knowledge or media reports that Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey last month.

Trump said on Twitter, appearing to refer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He still hasn't expressed any real concern that the Russians tried to damage our democracy, and reiterated on Friday his "ridiculous contention that the Russia scandal is a red herring, even now that everyone agrees that it is real". They are Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager; Rick Gates, Manafort's business partner; Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser; Flynn; and Roger J Stone Jr, an informal adviser to Trump.

The order came the same day that Vice President Mike Pence hired an outside lawyer to represent his legal interests. The transition, a nonprofit structurally separate from the Trump campaign, continues to operate with a small staff.

Rosenstein prepared a memo for Attorney General Jeff Sessions back in early May, which raised repeated questions about how Comey had handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation - at first, that seemed to be the basis for Comey's firing by the President, until Mr. Trump said a few days later that the Russian Federation investigation was on his mind. The memo asks for preservation of electronic communications and data, telephone logs, audio recordings, videos, calendars and other items.

"I know that I was sacked because something about the way I was conducting the Russian Federation investigation was putting pressure" on Trump, Comey testified.

This is what he said in May. Thanks to his firing of Comey and Comey's personal memos that accuse #45 of trying to get him to drop the investigation against ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, the President is reportedly now under investigation for obstruction of justice.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a report issued in January that Russian Federation interfered in the presidential race to try to help Trump win, in part by hacking and releasing emails damaging to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. "Witch Hunt", Trump wrote on Twitter. "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!"