Investigation appears to enter new phase amid reports of request for documents related to Trump’s most controversial actions since taking office
The special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House to provide documents related to Donald Trump’s most controversial actions since taking office in January, according to two reports on Wednesday.
The inquiry from Mueller’s team, who is leading the investigation into whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, suggests that the investigation is moving into a new phase, inching closer to the president.
According to anonymous White House officials, the New York Times reported, Mueller’s team sought more information related to 13 areas, including the circumstances around the firing of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and of the FBI director, James Comey.
The team is also interested in an Oval Office meeting between Trump and Russian officials in May, a day after he fired Comey. During that meeting, Trump reportedly told Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the former Russian ambassador to the United States, that Comey’s dismissal had relieved “great pressure” on him.
The Washington Post confirmed the request had been made to the White House, and reported that Mueller had also requested that the White House turn over documents related to the FBI interview of Flynn in January, days after Trump took office. They are also interested in a late January conversation in which Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, raised concerns about Flynn with the White House counsel, Don McGahn. Additionally, they are looking at how the White House responded to a Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer in June 2016.
The list of actions by the president and his close associates that Mueller’s team is reportedly scrutinizing suggests that investigators are looking at whether Trump sought to shut down the investigation into Flynn. Mueller’s team is also examining whether Trump or others in the White House attempted to obstruct justice when the president fired Comey, who had been leading the Russia investigation until his dismissal.