Trump under investigation for obstruction of justice

The special investigation into Russian interference in the election sets its sights on the president himself

By Keith A. Spencer
June 14, 2017 11:36PM (UTC)
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James Comey; Robert Mueller; Donald Trump (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff/Alex Wong / Staff/Darren McCollester /Stringer)

The sprawling, year-long FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has shifted its focus in the past six months, aiming its crosshairs first at Russians, then Americans. Now, the probe has set its sights on the man at the top of the pyramid: President Trump himself.

That’s according to a late-breaking Wednesday night report from the Washington Post, which detailed how Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. Moreover, investigators are now “looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates,” according to the report.


Quoting a number of anonymous sources, the Post also added that a number of intelligence agency officials had been lassoed into the probe:

Five people briefed on the requests, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Adm. Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’ recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week.

Trump, who is notoriously litigious, had recently lawyered up in anticipation of the probe touching him; the Post was not able to get a quote from the president himself, nor his lawyer, but from his lawyer’s underling — who responded not to the allegations, but the fact that the story had leaked in the first place. “The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal," Trump's lawyer's spokesman told the Post.

It was only a few weeks ago that President Trump basked in then-FBI director James Comey’s assertion that the president was "not under investigation.” In a delightfully ironic twist, Trump’s firing of Comey may have triggered Mueller to look into whether the president was guilty of obstruction of justice. As usual, Trump proves that he is his own worst enemy.

Keith A. Spencer

Keith A. Spencer is a senior editor for Salon. He manages Salon's science, tech, economy and health coverage. His book, "A People's History of Silicon Valley: How the Tech Industry Exploits Workers, Erodes Privacy and Undermines Democracy," was released in 2018. Follow him on Twitter at @keithspencer, or on Facebook here.

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Daniel Coats Donald Trump Fbi James Comey Obstruction Of Justice Robert Mueller Russiagate