Special Counsel Looking Into Obstruction of Justice by Trump; President Decries 'Witch Hunt' | NBC Southern California
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Special Counsel Looking Into Obstruction of Justice by Trump; President Decries 'Witch Hunt'

"They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice," Trump responds on Twitter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Department of Justice has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to head the investigation into Russian involvement in U.S. policy.

    (Published Thursday, May 18, 2017)

    The special counsel appointed to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign is now examining whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice, NBC News reported.

    The Washington Post first reported the investigation Wednesday evening. 

    Accusations of obstruction arose last month when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey testified in a Senate hearing last week that he believed he was fired "because of the Russia investigation."

    Comey also testified he had told Trump he was not under investigation.

    Trump Decries 'Witch Hunt'

    [NATL] 'There's No Collusion': Trump Decries 'Witch Hunt'

    President Donald Trump said he was the subject of a "witch hunt" on Thursday, just one day after the Department of Justice appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead an investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

    (Published Thursday, May 18, 2017)

    A former senior intelligence official with knowledge of the discussions confirmed to NBC News that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested interviews with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency chief Admiral Mike Rogers about their conversations with President Trump.

    The source added that Mueller also wants to talk to Richard Ledgett, the former top civilian an the NSA, who wrote a memo documenting Rogers’ conversation with Trump. All three men have agreed to be interviewed, the source said.

    Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's personal lawyer, responded Wednesday evening to the Post report by saying: "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal."

    Trump weighed in on Twitter Thursday morning with a pair of posts. 

    "They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice," he wrote. "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA."

    Later in the day, he tweeted: "Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?"

    Deputy AG: No Reason to Fire Mueller

    [NATL] Deputy AG: No Reason to Fire Mueller

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee and said he has seen no basis for firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the Russia investigation.

    (Published Tuesday, June 13, 2017)

    He then tweeted: "Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, 'bleached' emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?"

    Mueller met Wednesday with the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee in an effort to ensure their investigations don't conflict.

    The leaders of the Senate Intelligence committee said in a statement issued Wednesday that they "look forward to future engagements" with Robert Mueller.

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the panel's top Democrat, didn't provide any other details regarding the meeting. An aide familiar with the meeting said it was held to discuss the investigations, including ways that the parallel inquiries don't interfere with one another. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

    The meeting comes a day after lawmakers questioned Justice Department officials about the probe and Mueller's independence, and after a friend of Trump said the White House was considering firing Mueller.

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller last month, testified Tuesday he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire Mueller.

    Paul Ryan's Advice: Trump Should 'Let Mueller Do His Job'

    [NATL] Paul Ryan's Advice: Trump Should 'Let Mueller Do His Job'

    House Speaker Paul Ryan responds to reports that President Donald Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to lead the FBI investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

    (Published Tuesday, June 13, 2017)

    Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said his panel will investigate the removal of former FBI Director James Comey and "any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations."

    Grassley announced the investigation in a letter to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel's top Democrat. Grassley's office said the letter is in response to a recent letter from Feinstein requesting that the committee seek details from senior FBI leadership about Comey's interactions with President Donald Trump before he was fired.

    The letter said the investigation will also probe Comey's testimony that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe an FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation.

    "You and I agree that the American people deserve a full accounting of attempts to meddle in both our democratic processes and the impartial administration of justice ... It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr. Comey's removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis," according to the letter.

    Feinstein has said the Judiciary Committee should investigate, but had asked Grassley to keep the investigations separate. Grassley said Comey's dismissal and Comey's testimony on Lynch should be looked at together, noting that Comey "took the opportunity in his testimony to clear his own name by denouncing as false the administration's claims that the FBI rank-and-file had lost confidence in Mr. Comey's leadership in the wake of the Clinton email investigation."