Special counsel Robert Mueller has — rightfully — been very interested in both the meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer during his father’s campaign last summer and the statement that was written aboard Air Force One defending it.
Earlier this month, Mueller requested to meet with White House staffers who were present when the statement was drafted. These meetings are expected to take place in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Mueller has also asked for copies of phone records related to the statement, which contained information that contradicts Trump Jr.’s own emails about the meeting.
POLITICO revealed the news about this latest development on Thursday after learning about it from two people who are familiar with Mueller’s investigation.
The statement about the meeting, which was written as the New York Times was preparing to publish a story about it, has caused a lot of controversy for President Trump and his staff. In addition to including incorrect information about what was discussed during the meeting, the fact that Trump “weighed in” on the statement is also questionable.
Furthermore, the sources told POLITICO that Mueller is also seeking information about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s meeting with Russian officials and Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
He has also requested documents and emails connected to a May 3 press briefing during which Sean Spicer said President Trump had confidence in James Comey and his abilities as FBI director. The special counsel wants to see “any documents that would show Trump’s thinking and who was involved,” and he specifically wants to know if White House officials, especially Spicer, knew ahead of time about Trump’s plan to fire Comey.
These requests are further proof that Mueller’s investigation, which started with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, has broadened to include what has happened since Trump took office in January.
According to The Washington Post, White House lawyer Ty Cobb — who has recently pushed for more cooperation from the President and his staff — has been sending records to the Mueller. He’s denied to comment on communications between the White House and Mueller’s team, though, “out of respect” for the office and its process.
‘The White House doesn’t comment on any communications between the White House and the Office of Special Counsel out of respect for the Office of Special Counsel and its process. We are committed to cooperating fully. Beyond that I can’t comment.’
One government official also told WaPo that Mueller has all the resources he needs and is moving as quickly as he can to complete the investigation. The official added that they believe the investigation “will run to completion” with or without the special counsel.
‘I am convinced that no matter where they end up, this investigation will run to completion even if they fire Mueller. There is a feeling of inevitability now that we didn’t have before — not of the outcome of the investigation but that there will be an outcome. There is no escaping this thing, whatever the conclusions.’
Featured image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.