Mueller Plans Questions for Trump on Flynn, Comey Firing, Source SaysBy
Flynn has become a cooperating witness after pleading guilty
Comey’s firing as FBI chief raised questions over obstruction
Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to question President Donald Trump about his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey as well as the removal of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Trump’s lawyers have held several conversation with Mueller’s team in recent weeks to discuss a possible interview with the president as part of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it, according to another person briefed on the situation.
Working out details for an interview could take several weeks, the person said after Mueller’s planned lines of questioning were reported by the Washington Post.
Trump’s decision to fire Comey last May was a key moment in the investigation because it has sparked questions about whether the president sought to obstruct the criminal probe that Comey had been running. Mueller was appointed as special counsel after Comey’s dismissal.
Flynn was involved in communications with Russians before he was removed from his White House post last February. He has since pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators over those contacts and has become a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation.
Mueller has also indicated he would like to call back several White House aides who were interviewed early on to ask about additional information he has received, the person said. The interviews are expected to be brief and don’t necessarily indicate significant changes in the investigation, according to the person.
Comey testified to Congress that before his dismissal Trump had pressured him to let go of his investigation into Flynn, an assertion the president has denied. While Trump at first cited other reasons for firing Comey, he later told an interviewer that it was because of “this Russia thing.” Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt” instigated by Democrats.
Mueller’s team interviewed Comey last year, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Mueller’s investigation has appeared to ramp up in recent weeks, and his team interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week. Sessions had discussed removing Comey with Trump and wrote a memo recommending that he do so.
Others who have been interviewed by Mueller’s team include Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, White House Counsel Don McGahn, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former spokesman Sean Spicer and National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg, according to people familiar with the investigation.
— With assistance by Shannon Pettypiece