Apparently, President Donald Trump has a lot of questions for people who have been interviewed by the special counsel’s investigators, according to a new report published by The New Times.
Robert Mueller’s team, which is currently investigating the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and trying to determine if the real estate mogul’s campaign colluded with the Kremlin to affect the outcome of the 2016 vote, is apparently well-aware of at least two occasions where the commander-in-chief questioned witnesses who have testified before the special counsel about the probe.
In one of these instances, Trump reportedly asked his former chief of staff, Reince Priebus if his sit-down with the investigators had been “nice” and asked how they treated him.
In another, he told an aide that White House counsel Don McGahn should put out a statement refuting a New York Times report, published in January, stating Trump had ordered McGahn to fire Mueller.
The aide, who was none other than former White House staff secretary and alleged domestic abuser Rob Porter, was also reportedly told McGahn could lose his job if he refused to dispute the story.
As confirmed by Politico, the president earlier approached McGahn in the Oval Office and asked why he wasn’t denying the story and told him he hadn’t made any such request, to which the adviser reminded him he had indeed asked him to call Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to discuss the potential grounds for getting rid of the special counsel.
Given the fact Trump has called the Russian investigation a “witch hunt” one more than one occasion and has repeatedly denied the allegations of collusion, these revelations has raised concerns about possible witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
“When the subject of an investigation is the president of the United States and the witnesses he is quizzing about, and even challenging the substance of, their testimony are his subordinates, such conversations are very, very troubling,” explained former assistant U.S. attorney from the Northern District of California, Elizabeth de la Vega. “Any prosecutor would see them as potential overt acts in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.”
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst