President Donald Trump is reportedly being investigated for obstruction of justice as part of the federal probe into the Russian government's role in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt."
On June 14, officials familiar with the federal probe disclosed that Trump himself was under investigation for allegedly attempting to derail the inquiry into Russia's role during the election and whether his campaign officials were complicit, The Washington Post reports.
Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly will interview National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and retired NSA deputy Director Richard Ledgett as a part of the probe into Trump's conduct.
The probe reportedly expanded to include the president shortly after he fired former FBI Director James Comey on May 9, meaning that Mueller may not have initiated the inquiry.
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On June 8, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee as a part of the congressional Russia investigation. The former FBI director asserted that Trump dismissed him because the president was displeased with the FBI probe into whether members of his campaign had colluded with Russian officials to subvert the 2016 election.
"It's my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation," Comey stated under oath. "I was fired, in some way, to change -- or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted."
The former FBI director also asserted that Trump had asked him during a private dinner to drop a federal investigation into former White House national security adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
"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 replied, when asked if he believed Trump had attempted to obstruct justice.
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If Mueller's investigation were to find evidence that Trump committed a criminal offense, the Department of Justice would not indict the president as a matter of precedent, but rather present the evidence to members of Congress, who would then determine whether the crime warranted articles of impeachment.
Attorney Marc Kasowitz, Trump's personal lawyer, released a statement through a spokesman blasting the disclosure that the president was under investigation.
"The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal," said spokesman Mark Corallo.
On June 15, Trump took to Twitter to blast the development, asserting that the federal probe was essentially fishing for wrongdoing.
"They made up a phony collusion with Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story," Trump tweeted out. "Nice."
The president followed up by tweeting "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history -- led by some very bad and conflicted people!"