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This past Wednesday, it was reported that the special counsel overseeing the Russian investigation is currently widening its probe in order to include a look into whether or not President Trump obstructed justice. Special counselor Robert S. Mueller III’s team is interviewing several intelligence officials who were known to have conversations with the President regarding the Russia investigation.
On Friday morning, it seemed that the President actually confirmed that he was under investigation, when he took action to criticize the special counsel on twitter. Trump stated that,”I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
It is striking that the president is being investigated at all, but what has puzzled many is the lengths that Trump has gone through to prove that he was not under investigation. During his recent testimony, former FBI director James Comey says that the president asked him to publicly clear his name, however the director declined at the time.
The investigation has lasted has lasted almost a year. It has strongly focused on the correlation between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016, as well as the possible Kremlin involvement in the election.
The president has repeatedly attempted to demonstrate that he is not personally under investigation, however, this is no longer the case. New interviews with the special counsel with focus on Trump’s firing of Comey, as well as what motivated him.
Investigators in this case plan to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, as well as Mike Rogers, the head of NSA, according to several people that were briefed on the interview requests.
Coats has claimed that the standing president asked him to intervene in the FBI’s investigation of formal national security advisor Micheal Flynn, however, he decided that his would not be appropriate. This has suggested that Trump encouraged officials to push back on the bureau’s probe. It could potentially be relevant to the investigators who want to understand more about the conversations the president conducted regarding the issue.
There is a chance that investigators are interested in Rogers as well because allegedly Trump asked him to publicly issue a statement dying the existence of any type of evidence correlating the Trump campaign and Russia. This leaves open another possibility that the President acted inappropriately.
In theory it is possible that the president and the White House could attempt to use the executive privilege to try to protect private information concealed in the executive branch, as President Nixon once did during the Watergate scandal. The supreme court, in this instance, ruled that executive officials cannot, however, use this to suppress evidence needed for a criminal investigation.
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