Trump 'under investigation for potential obstruction of justice'

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas

The Post reported that five officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said the possible obstruction-of-justice investigation of the NY tycoon began days after Mr Trump fired Mr Comey.

Several top intelligence officials have agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's team, according to reports in both The Washington Post and New York Times.

If the president is under investigation for obstruction, a move to fire Mueller would prove more complicated politically.

They are said to be National Security Agency head Mike Rogers, his former deputy Richard Ledgett and national intelligence director Daniel Coats.

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

Comey would not say in his testimony last week whether he thought the president sought to obstruct justice but added it would be up to special counsel Mueller "to sort that out".

The newspaper's story provoked a furious reaction from Trump's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz and the Republican National Committee.

"The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's legal team. Last week, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said the committee would ask Johnson to testify about interactions former President Barack Obama's administration had with secretaries of state and local election officials about the dangers the Russian hacking posed to election systems.

Quoting officials, the Post said one event of interest to Mueller - a widely-respected former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - is an exchange on March 22, when Coats told associates Trump had asked him to intervene with Comey to get him to back off from focusing on Flynn.

Comey told Congress last week that before being sacked, Trump pressured him to drop an investigation into his former national security advisor, Mike Flynn, who was forced to quit for lying about his links to Moscow.

The interviews could come as early as this week, the Post said.

Recent reports have said Trump also requested help from Coats and Rogers to pressure Comey to end the investigation into Flynn's activities.

After Comey's testimony, Trump said he had been vindicated because his former FBI director confirmed telling Trump on three occasions that he was not under investigation.

A few days later, Mr Trump individually asked Mr Coats and Mr Rogers to issue public statements to the effect that there was no evidence of co-ordination between his campaign and Russian Federation.

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.

The widened Russian Federation probe could have far-reaching repercussions for Trump's presidency, transforming his closest aides into witnesses and sucking yet more political oxygen out of the West Wing.

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