wnol.info March 22 2018

Trump asked witnesses about special counsel conversations

March 22 2018, 05:40 | Irvin Gilbert

Donald Trump. Alex Wong Getty Images

Donald Trump

President Trump asked Reince Priebus about the former White House chief of staff's testimony in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, sources confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday - but they said the talk included "nothing" of substance.

"The episodes demonstrate that even as the special counsel investigation appears to be intensifying, the president has ignored his lawyers' advice to avoid doing anything publicly or privately that could create the appearance of interfering with it", the New York Times report said.

It doesn't seem like either interaction qualifies as witness tampering, but the Times points out the conversations could give Mueller more ammunition in a potential obstruction of justice case.

Mr. Trump moved on, pointing out that Mr. McGahn had never told him that he was going to resign over the order to fire the special counsel. Mr. McGahn acknowledged that that was true but said that he had told senior White House officials at the time that he was going to quit.

McGahn is a critical witness in the Russian Federation investigation.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said the conversation was limited to questions like "how did it go?" and "were you treated fairly?"

Trump also reportedly asked McGahn last April to help convince Comey to publicly clear him in the Russian Federation probe. When the incident was made public, Trump reportedly instructed then-White House staff secretary Rob Porter to inform McGahn that he should issue a statement denying the account, which McGahn also refused. He reportedly asked if the interviewers had been "nice" to Priebus.

At first, Trump's personal defense lawyers suggested providing written answers to a pre-determined set of questions, or submitting a signed affidavit saying Trump did nothing wrong.

The experts said the meetings with McGahn and Priebus would probably sharpen Mueller's focus on the President's interactions with other witnesses.

Experts threw cold water on both arguments, calling them "weak" and "dubious", and added that they were unlikely to succeed.

He surmises that they were lying because there really was evidence "the Trump campaign colluded with hostile foreign power to defeat their political opponent".

In January, a number of USA newspapers and broadcasters reported that Mr Trump had also sought to fire Mr Mueller, who took over the investigation following Mr Comey's departure.

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