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Mueller investigating Trump for obstruction of justice, Washington Post reports

15 June 2017

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on Ruddy's remarks.

Under Justice Department regulations created to ensure a measure of independence for the special counsel, Rosenstein may only fire Mueller for "good cause".

Together, we've gone far.

A spokesman for one of Trump's attorneys fired back at Wednesday's fresh round of allegations: "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

Firing Mueller after a month in the post would be an explosive political step and inevitably raise concerns that the president was trying to obstruct an investigation affecting the White House.

The president sacked Comey in early May.

Comey testified that initial explanations that he was sacked because of poor leadership were "lies, plain and simple".

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Comey also testified he had told Trump he was not under investigation. Gingrich pointed to Federal Election Commission reports that showed that some members of Mueller's staff had contributed to Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, in the past.

Comey also suggested another factor in his termination was his declining to lift what Trump, during private phone conversations, described as the "cloud" of the bureau's Russian Federation probe hanging over his presidency that was making it hard for him to govern.

Investigators will also look for any statements the president may have made publicly and privately to people outside the government about his reasons for firing Comey, and his concerns about the Russian Federation probe and other related investigations, people familiar with the matter said. But Comey did lay out facts that a prosecutor could use to try to prove obstruction, as NPR's Domenico Montanaro noted.

After Mr Comey's testimony, Mr Trump said he had been vindicated because his former FBI director confirmed telling Mr Trump on three occasions that he was not under investigation. Trump disputed, though, Comey's assertion he had asked for a pledge of loyalty.

Asked what he would do if Trump ordered him to fire Mueller, Rosenstein said, "I'm not going to follow any order unless I believe they are lawful and appropriate orders".

The initial investigation focused exclusively on potential Russian hacking in the 2016 election and whether any Trump surrogates - like former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn - might have been involved.

Of course, until Mueller actually tells the world the president committed a crime, the Post's reporting based on the accounts of "five people ... speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly", is still basically hearsay.

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For his own good, Trump should take this advice.

Trump is not the only one under scrutiny, Barrett said: Investigators are also looking into the finances of Trump associates.

Trump brushed aside Holt's question about the timing of the firing, which raised eyebrows coming as it did while Comey was overseeing an investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russians who meddled in the election.

Just weeks ago, Gingrich had heaped praise on Mueller, hailing him as a "superb choice" for special counsel whose reputation was "impeccable for honesty and integrity". And the Daily Caller reported on Tuesday that included an interview with Mueller.

The report that Trump himself is being scrutinized for obstruction of justice served to undercut Trump's claims.

It comes a day after lawmakers questioned Justice Department officials about the probe and Mueller's independence.

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