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Russian Federation inquiry: I'm under investigation

18 June 2017

Regardless of the outcome, the specter of Mueller examining the possibility of obstruction of justice appeared to be a new blow to Trump, whose first five months in office have been clouded by the federal and congressional probes into the Russian Federation issue.

The president complained the probe is unfair and wondered why his defeated Democratic opponent wasn't getting the same scrutiny.

On Friday, the President made extraordinary claims against Clinton and her family for their own alleged dealings with Russian Federation, claiming smashed a phone with a hammer and "bleached" emails to cover their tracks. "Witch Hunt." The tweet marked the first time Trump has publicly acknowledged that he is under investigation personally.

The Twitter attacks came as Vice President Mike Pence hired a personal lawyer to represent him in the intensifying investigation.

Mr Pence's office confirmed he had retained Richard Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general and United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to assist "in responding to inquiries" from Mr Mueller.

The appointment was hailed by partisans on both sides of the aisle, who praised Mueller as a model law enforcement official and an aggressive, yet fair, investigator.

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An examination of possible obstruction of justice charges was "unavoidable" given testimony by Comey, although the issue may not become the main focus of the probe, the source said.

USA TODAY previously reported that the FBI was investigating Kushner for his contact with Russian officials, but there was no word at that time that his financial dealings were part of the probe.

Comey testified last week that he also felt pressured to drop the Flynn probe.

US Vice President Mike Pence has hired a lawyer known for defending government officials in high-profile investigations to help him with probes into whether there were ties between the election campaign of US President Donald Trump and Russian Federation, his office said on Thursday.

The president wrote, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

Trump advisers and confidants describe the president as increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets in the White House carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy.

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And Trump's apparent reference to Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from it, came just hours after a statement from Rosenstein complaining about leaks in the case.

The Associated Press and other news organizations have also reported that Kushner in December proposed a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin. But soon after the abrupt termination, Trump told NBC News that he had been going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendations.

Not all of Trump's social media followers are supporters. Although the White House initially said Rosenstein's memo led Trump to fire Comey, the president later said he did so because of the Russian Federation investigation.

But William Shepherd, a maintenance worker from Anderson, Indiana, felt it was the president's prerogative to choose his Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

"I think he's weighing that option", he said of Trump. "I can go around them".

Earlier this week, the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller appeared to move closer to Trump.

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The poll shows the public relatively unsympathetic to those leaking information about the investigation. The FBI has responded by saying that it has received that request. Fifty-two percent have a moderate amount of confidence and 18 percent have hardly any confidence.