Trump lashes out over probe into possible obstruction of justice

Author

17 June, 2017

President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at the investigators driving the Russian Federation investigation as "very bad and conflicted people", responding angrily to reports that the special counsel is looking into whether Trump obstructed justice. "We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump".

Shortly after Trump fired Comey, a Justice Department official tapped Mueller to take up the investigation as a special counsel. "Nice", he tweeted Thursday morning.

Trump did not directly address the allegations that he is being probed for possibly obstructing justice-a potentially impeachable offense.

The Post report cited anonymous sources who were briefed on requests made by investigators.

Kasowitz issued a statement saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation was behind the Post story and called the leak "outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

At Vox, Ezra Klein details how the latest developments in the case exemplify how Trump continues to create his own legal troubles.

While a sitting president is unlikely to face criminal prosecution, obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment.

The NSA said in a statement that it will "fully cooperate with the special counsel" and declined to give any more information than that.

Earlier this month, Rosenstein told The Associated Press that "if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there's a need from me to recuse, I will".

Dennis Rodman heads back to North Korea
Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. During the 2014 visit he led a team of retired American players in a basketball game to celebrate Kim Jong Un's birthday.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller on May 17, testified on Tuesday that he would not fire the special counsel without "good cause".

A few days later, Trump spoke separately with Coats and Rogers and asked them to issue public statements to the effect that there was no evidence of coordination between his campaign and Russian Federation.

"The brazen redefinition of Mueller's task tells you how arrogant the deep state is and how confident it is it can get away with anything", Gingrich said.

Coats will also meet with members of the Senate intelligence committee Thursday, one week after his tense grilling by the panel, according to a committee source.

Last week, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had informed Trump that there was no investigation of the president's personal conduct, at least while he was leading the FBI. The ex-FBI boss testified in a senate hearing last week that he believed he was sacked "because of the Russian Federation investigation". Though some in the White House have preached caution, fearing a repeat of the firestorm over Comey's firing, many in Trump's orbit - including his son Donald Trump Jr. and adviser Newt Gingrich - have deemed Mueller biased and worthy of dismissal.

"If I had nothing to hide and someone wanted to investigate, I would say, 'Go ahead, do your thing, I don't care, because you won't find anything, '" said Younger, a Democrat who imports jewelry supplies.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reported, "The special counsel also plans to interview Rick Ledgett, who recently retired as the deputy director of the NSA, the person added".

Ditching derogatory rhetoric about the Washington "swamp", Trump rallied in support of his fellow politicians and called on the country to pull together.


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