Donald Trump calls federal probe into whether he obstructed justice "phony"

Carla Harmon
June 15, 2017

According to the report, the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has focused on Trump's potential obstruction in the past month, ever since he abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey.

She says Trump thought Sessions was especially "strong" on denying any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

News of Mueller looking into potential obstruction comes after former FBI Director James Comey testified last week.

Mueller will interview Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers and Rogers' former deputy Richard Ledgett in the obstruction probe.

The former Alabama senator also defended himself against accusations that he misrepresented himself during his confirmation hearing when he said he hadn't met with Russian officials during the campaign.

The piece added that Trump had received assurances from then-FBI Director James Comey that he wasn't personally being investigated, but that changed for the president "shortly after Comey's firing".

Sessions was adamant he never had a third meeting with the Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont have sought an FBI investigation. That was not so, he said. He vowed to defend his honor "against scurrilous and false allegations". Trump disputed, though, Comey's assertion he had asked for a pledge of loyalty.

Wyden asked Sessions what problematic issues existed. There are none, Sen.

Mueller is leading the Russian Federation probe after being appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Department of Justice, which oversees the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A spokesman for Mr Mueller's team declined to comment on Wednesday.

That was something that Special Consul Mueller would have to examine, Comey had said.

"Whether you're a supporter of the president or an opponent of the president, you ought to want Mueller to get the truth and get to the truth quickly", he said.

In a tense session of the Senate committee, members grilled Sessions on a series of issues, including conversations he had with Trump and his role in Comey's departure as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sanders, the White House spokeswoman, has since denied that Trump intends to do so.

Sessions criticized Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which the White House had initially cited as the ostensible reason for his firing.

The Justice Department subsequently released decades-old memos from its Office of Legal Counsel that it said supported Sessions' position.

Notably, Comey, in his carefully-worded statement, had also said that Trump's personal conduct - whether with regards to possible collusion with Russian Federation or possible obstruction of justice - was not under investigation while he was at the helm of the FBI.

"I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offense", Comey testified last week.

The real audience: Jeremy Bash, a lawyer and former Obama national security official, told Brian Williams on MSNBC: "I think Mueller could use a grand jury and overcome this [implied] claim of executive privilege". But time and again, Sessions returned to lines such as "I am not able to discuss with you or confirm or deny the nature of private conversations that I may have had with the president on this subject or others".

Trump after the shooting called for unity in a statement delivered at the White House. Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Comey; Comey said last week that "lordy" he hopes there are. "It's my judgment that I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation", Comey said.

Would any such tapes have to be preserved? "Mr. Comey well knew them, I thought, and assumed correctly that he complied with them". "Rubio, probably so", Sessions replied.

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