US President Donald Trump blasts report on possible obstruction of justice probe

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

Mr Trump lashed out on Twitter early yesterday.

Moscow has denied US intelligence agencies' conclusion that it interfered in last year's USA presidential election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favor. An hour later, Trump was back at it, calling the investigation the "single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history". #MAGA"-the acronym referring to his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again".

According to the Washington Post, Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the FBI's Russia Investigation, is now examining whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice.

President Trump dismissed a potential obstruction of justice investigation into his conduct, calling allegations of collusion between him, his campaign or people associated with him and Russian Federation a "phony story".

Mueller is expected to interview top intelligence officials to examine whether Trump tried to influence or push for a shut down of the Russian Federation investigation altogether - i.e., obstruct justice.

Moreover, the Senate intelligence committee has already grilled several high-ranking officials - including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and Attorney General Jeff Sessions - about whether Trump sought to interfere with the Russian Federation investigation and the criminal probe into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Former United States attorney Barbara McQuade, who served under the Barack Obama administration, told the Daily Beast if Trump fired Mueller "and it could be shown that his goal was to impede the investigation, it could be additional evidence of obstruction of justice".

As for the probe into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, he said Mr Trump told him: "I hope you can let this go".

It will be up to Mueller to decide whether Trump crossed the legal line and whether to pursue an obstruction case against him.

Trump's tweets are the latest - and most direct - attacks on the leader of an investigation that he insists is unnecessary and distracting.

Comey prepared multiple contemporaneous memos documenting conversations with Trump that made him uneasy in the weeks before his May 9 firing.

"The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", Kasowitz said via a spokesman.

While the Justice Department appointed Mueller to investigate Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election - and any "collusion" with the Trump campaign - his assignment also includes "any matters that arose or may arise" from the Russia probe. All week, some of Trump's most ardent defenders, including his son Donald Trump Jr., his White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and friend and occasional adviser Newt Gingrich have questioned the probe in similar ways.

Officially, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told NPR's Carrie Johnson, "We'll decline to comment". "It is inconceivable that locating and producing the small number of Comey memos, particularly given their prominence in current public debate, requires any significant amount of the FBI's time or resources". "I don't know how anyone can see this as anything but obstruction of justice".

Note, this report was published before we learned that Trump is now himself the subject of a criminal investigation as part of Mueller's overall probe.

Trump had fired Flynn in February after news reports revealed that he had lied about conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during which the two reportedly discussed the lifting of sanctions under the new administration.



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