The special counsel overseeing the probe into Russia's alleged meddling in the United States election is now looking at whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, the Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing unnamed officials.
Mueller's probe is looking into any possible contact between Trump and Russian operatives and for any potentially suspicious financial dealings with those individuals according to the Post.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel shortly after Comey's firing. Rosenstein was acting, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from acting in the Russia investigation after it was revealed he had held two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the November 8, 2016 election.
At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last week, Coats and Rogers refused to answer whether Trump asked them to intervene in the investigation.
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Many expected that Mueller would at some point turn to the topic of whether the president obstructed justice.
The Washington Post, citing five people briefed on the requests who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, and Richard Ledgett, the former deputy director at the NSA, had agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's investigators as early as this week.
"I don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct".
For most of this year, we now know, President Donald Trump's repeated insistence that he wasn't under investigation in the Russian Federation scandal was in fact true.
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 an 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.
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Notably, Comey, in his carefully-worded statement, had also said that Trump's personal conduct - whether with regards to possible collusion with Russian Federation or possible obstruction of justice - was not under investigation while he was at the helm of the FBI.
To understand why Mueller wants to interview Coats and Rogers, you have to refer back to a pair of other major Washington Post scoops (from some of these same reporters).
"The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", a spokesperson for Mr Trump's personal lawyer told the Post.
The White House on Wednesday evening declined to comment about the Post's obstruction-of-justice report.
Supporters of Trump condemned the news leaks regarding the new investigation.
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