The hopes of Donald Trump’s opponents that he will soon face impeachment appear to have been bolstered on Wednesday with the revelation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now directly targeting the Trump White House, according to a September 20 report by the New York Times. The former FBI director leads the investigation into possible collusion between Trump, or his associates, and Russia to tamper with the 2016 presidential election.
According to the Times report, Mueller has demanded an imposing stack of confidential documents directly from the White House — documents that could reveal new information about some of Trump’s most high-profile actions that relate to the Russia investigation, including his firing of his first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, a former general and head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who is reportedly now putting together a million-dollar legal team to defend himself against potential charges over his Russia links.
Mueller also wants to get his hands on documents relating to another, even more attention-getting firing — Trump’s sudden dismissal of Mueller’s successor as FBI director, James Comey. Trump himself publicly admitted in a nationally-televised interview that he had the Russia investigation in mind when he canned Comey, who, prior to the appointment of Mueller, was leading the Trump-Russia investigation.
Read the entire New York Times report on the Mueller White House document demands by clicking on this link.
In what could be the most significant document demand by Mueller, the special counsel has targeted documents from a closed-door meeting held by Trump with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then-Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. In that meeting, held on May 10, the day after he fired Comey, Trump reportedly told the two Russian emissaries that dismissing the FBI director had taken “great pressure” off of him.
At the same meeting, Trump casually revealed “highly classified” information to the Russians about the U.S. fight against the terrorist group ISIS.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller has already interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who, due to the supposed recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from Russia matters, is actually Mueller’s own superior. It was Rosenstein who wrote a memo outlining what were alleged to be Trump’s reasons for firing Comey — reasons that focused on Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
But Trump’s own statements soon contradicted Rosenstein’s memo. According to the Tuesday reports, Rosenstein told Mueller in the interview that Trump simply ignored his warnings that firing Comey would carry serious consequences, and would not put an end to the Russia investigation.
But Mueller is reportedly also aiming directly at Trump himself in his massive White House document demand, seeking previously confidential information about one-on-one meetings between Trump and Comey in the initial months of Trump’s term in the White House, according to a Washington Post report on Mueller’s targeting of the White House, also published on Wednesday.
One official, who spoke anonymously to the Post, said that inside the White House there is now a belief that nothing can stop the Mueller-led Russia investigation at this point.
“I am convinced that no matter where they end up, this investigation will run to completion even if they fire Mueller,” the official told the Post. “There is a feeling of inevitability now that we didn’t have before — not of the outcome of the investigation but that there will be an outcome. There is no escaping this thing, whatever the conclusions.”
[Featured Image By Seth Wenig/AP Images]