The investigation started days after FBI director James Comey was fired on May 9, the Post reported. The office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is setting up interviews with people both inside and outside the government. It is also clear that Mueller sees the case for obstruction of justice being more than just a dispute between Trump and Comey.
In addition to the probe into possible obstruction of justice, investigators are also looking into possible financial crimes committed by Trump associates, according to the report.
Trump's administration -- which has been in office for less than 5 months — is directing all questions about Russia to Trump's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal," a spokesman for Kasowitz told the Post. (For the record, that is not a denial.)
Mueller has not talked about the investigation and a spokesman for the special counsel did not comment on the report.
Obstruction of justice is legally defined as "whoever ... corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense)." We explain it fully in a post you can find here.
The Post points out that investigating Trump will be difficult, even if they find compelling evidence that a crime was committed: "The Justice Department has long held that it would not be appropriate to indict a sitting president. Instead, experts say, the onus would be on Congress to review any findings of criminal misconduct and then decide whether to initiate impeachment proceedings."
Last week, Comey raised suspicions about a possible obstruction of justice probe when he told the Senate Intelligence Committee there were no active investigations into Trump at the time he was leading the FBI. The precise wording of the comment caused some to speculate that a probe had started after he was fired, especially given the alleged conversation around Michael Flynn.
"I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offense," Comey testified last week.
The report comes on a special day for Trump; today is his birthday.
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