Trump obstruction charge is investigated as Texas Tribune polls released


About a week after Comey was sacked last month, however, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Mueller as a special counsel at the Justice Department to oversee the federal investigation into Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 US election, according to CBS News.

The new allegations against Trump center on his own admission that he fired Comey because of the Russian Federation investigation, and suggestions he asked several top intelligence officials for their help altering the inquiry's direction.

"If there was one policy that infuriated the elite, it was his professed hope of improving relations with Russia", Dejevesky wrote about Trump in her opinion piece.

The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Mueller was seeking interviews with three Trump administration officials who weren't involved in Trump's campaign: Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director. Last week, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said the committee would ask Johnson to testify about interactions former President Barack Obama's administration had with secretaries of state and local election officials about the dangers the Russian hacking posed to election systems. He has already been subpoenaed by the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee. In sworn testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, fired FBI Director James Comey laid out in stark detail the steps Trump allegedly took to get Comey to back off the Flynn inquiry.

The order from the general counsel for the transition team casts a wide net on documents that could shed light on ties between Trump's presidential campaign and representatives of Russia's government.

"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired", Feinstein said.

In his statement, Comey said Trump asked him to drop the investigation into ties between former national security advisor Mike Flynn and Russian Federation.

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The move was confirmed by a transition official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss post-election decisions.

Recent reports have said Trump also requested help from Coats and Rogers to pressure Comey to end the investigation into Flynn's activities.

In a sign of the newfound seriousness of Mueller's investigation, Vice President Mike Pence's office confirmed that he has hired an attorney to deal with the special counsel investigation. "#MAGA", Trump tweeted later on Thursday morning.

On Thursday afternoon, Trump sent two tweets attacking his former opponent.

He followed that up 12 minutes later with a second tweet: "Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, "bleached" emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?"

The president did not directly address allegations that he is being probed for possibly obstructing justice - a potentially impeachable offense.

Mueller was originally appointed special council to determine the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The Post report did not name the Federal Bureau of Investigation as its source.