Special counsel Robert Mueller has sought phone records concerning the statement written aboard Air Force One defending a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians at Trump Tower last year that was set up by Donald Trump Jr., according to two people familiar with the investigation.
Mueller has also asked the White House for documents and emails connected to a May 3 press briefing where Sean Spicer said the president had confidence in James Comey as FBI director, these people said. The request seeks to determine what White House officials – particularly Spicer – knew about the president’s plans to fire Comey in the days before it happened, according to one of the people familiar with it.
The requests, first reported by the New York Times, are the latest indication that Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is expanding to include what has happened in the White House since Trump took office, including questions of obstruction of justice.
Most of the requests, one of these people said, focus on what happened inside the White House after Jan. 20.
White House officials are expected to be interviewed in upcoming weeks by Mueller’s office, but the interviews have not been set, according to one of the people with knowledge of the investigation.
The special counsel’s office has also asked for documents related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his meetings with Russian officials, one of these people said.
Investigators are particularly interested in what happened inside the White House after former deputy attorney general Sally Yates told White House lawyer Don McGahn of the Flynn meeting with Russians. Flynn was said to have misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition.
A lawyer for Flynn couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. He hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.
Mueller has also asked White House lawyers whether any documents related to Paul Manafort are in the White House, these people said. One White House official said there are few documents that even mention Manafort in the White House because he left the campaign in August.
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SOURCE: Politico, Josh Dawsey