Special counsel Robert Mueller thus far hashed out four main topics he hopes to ask President Donald Trump about when they meet to discuss the Russian investigation, according to a CNN Wednesday report.
Investigators want to ask Trump about his role crafting a statement abroad Air Force One that miscast Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower, the circumstances surrounding that meeting, and the firing of FBI Director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn, the report noted. The findings are based on information from two anonymous sources. But the bulk of the topics surround the ousting of Comey and Flynn.
Trump’s legal team — made up of attorney John Dowd and White House special counsel Ty Cobb — is discussing with Mueller a potential interview with the president potentially to include Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ involvement in Comey’s firing as well as the President’s knowledge of Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador.
Trump, who has frequently called the investigation into Russian meddling a “witch hunt,” sought to surround himself with a slew of high-end attorneys — he hired attorney Joe diGenova Monday and asked former Solicitor General Ted Olson to join his team. The president trudged through several months of allegations as Mueller’s investigation drags on.
The Wall Street Journal reports suggest Comey was ousted because he would not publicly state there were no links between the Trump administration and Russia. There was growing frustration among Trump’s associates that the former FBI director would not tamp down questions about the president’s alleged connection to Russia.
He refused to “say those three little words: ‘There’s no ties,'” a source told WSJ on May 9, 2017, about Trump’s decision to fire Comey without any forewarning. He was appointed in 2013 and had not yet served six years of what should have been a 10-year term. Media outlets spent months thereafter speculating Comey was ousted because he refused to go easy on Flynn at Trump’s request.
Trump was upset about what he viewed as the former director’s willingness to hog the media spotlight, a White House source also said and questioned whether Comey could be independent while keeping such a high profile. Another White House aide described the former FBI director as a show horse.
Mueller’s investigation has homed in on Flynn and former Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort for their ties to elements inside Russia. Flynn was charged in December 2017 with making false statements to the FBI, Mueller revealed in court documents. He pleaded guilty to the charges at a plea hearing in Washington, D.C.
Flynn “willfully and knowingly” lied to FBI agents during a Jan. 24 interview, where he was asked about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to court documents filed on Dec. 1, 2017.
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