UPDATE — 6/16, 9:52 a.m. EDT: President Trump confirmed Friday morning via Twitter that he is under federal investigation for the firing of now-former FBI Director James Comey.
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
A CNN source has said that special counsel Robert Mueller will interview both DNI Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers, whom Trump allegedly tried to persuade to publicly downplay the federal investigation of Russian interference.
The Washington Post reported late Wednesday the special counsel leading the FBI’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election has widened its investigation to determine if President Trump obstructed justice over his sacking former FBI director James Comey.
The Post‘s story cited five apparent Justice Department and/or FBI officials, corroborated by the Wall Street Journal, which cited another anonymous source.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is believed to be looking into the possibility Trump’s dismissal of Comey was an effort to block the Comey-led inquiry into alleged Russian influence in the November election.
Mr. Mueller is expected to interview Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike Rogers, and former NSA deputy Rick Ledgett in the coming weeks.
Coats and Rogers have previously told a Senate panel they were never pressured by the president to defend the White House or criticize critics of the Trump administration over the matter. Both Coats and Rogers have expressed a willingness to testify further regarding the matter.
Outraged by the revelation Mueller’s probe had expanded to include him personally, President Trump pilloried the leak on Twitter and denounced it as a “witch hunt.”
They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017
The White House referred all questions to Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, who eviscerated the sources in a statement through a surrogate.
“The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal,” said Kasowitz spokesman Mark Corallo in a statement.
Following the news leaked to both media outlets, the House intelligence committee announced former Department of Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson will testify in front of the panel about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Wednesday, June 21.
According to a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, 68 percent of U.S. citizens are “concerned” about Trump’s potential ties to the Kremlin, while 30 percent are not.
[Washington Post] [Wall Street Journal] [Yahoo News] [AP] [Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images]