Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice in relation to ongoing probes of Russian influence in the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, told the Post, “The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable, and illegal.”
The Post reported that Mueller and his team are interviewing senior intelligence officials about Trump’s role. Those who have agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators, the Post reported, include Dan Coats, director of national intelligence; Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, who recently left his role as Rogers’ deputy.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who testified under oath before Congress last week, indicated that he told Trump on multiple occasions that he personally was not under investigation during the Russia probe. But Comey was unwilling to state that publicly, citing the fact that the investigation was ongoing and the circumstances could change.
According to the Post, it did change after Trump fired Comey. Days after that happened, Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt that the Russia investigation played a role in his decision to terminate him, and he has dismissed the probe as “fake news.” Investigators are also examining whether Trump campaign associates colluded in any way with Russian intelligence.
At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last week, Coats and Rogers refused to answer whether Trump asked them to intervene in the investigation.
“In the three-plus years that I have been director of the National Security Agency, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate, and to the best of my recollection, during that same period of service I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so,” Rogers said.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to reveal what he and Trump have discussed about the Russia probe or the decision to fire Comey. Sessions cited the policy of the Justice Department, but also said that he did not want to limit Trump’s ability to invoke executive privilege. But Trump did not do so in advance of Sessions’ testimony.