New York Times reports:
In a sign that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election will remain a continuing distraction for the White House, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is in talks with the West Wing about interviewing current and former senior administration officials, including the recently ousted White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, according to three people briefed on the discussions.
Mr. Mueller has asked the White House about specific meetings, who attended them and whether there are any notes, transcripts or documents about them, two of the people said. Among the matters Mr. Mueller wants to ask the officials about is President Trump’s decision in May to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, the two people said.
That line of questioning will be important as Mr. Mueller continues to investigate whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice in the dismissal of Mr. Comey.
No interviews have been scheduled, but in recent weeks Mr. Mueller’s investigation has appeared to intensify. Late last month, he took the aggressive step of executing a search warrant at the home of Paul J. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, in Alexandria, Va. Legal experts say Mr. Mueller may be trying to put pressure on Mr. Manafort to cooperate with the investigation.
The White House lawyer brought in to deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election said he believed the focus of the probe was “narrow” and the aspects related to President Donald Trump should be completed before the end of the year.
The lawyer, Ty Cobb, who joined the White House staff on July 31, made the comments in interviews with Reuters on Tuesday and Wednesday. He declined to provide specifics backing his outlook, which contradicts media reports that the scope of Mueller’s probe is expanding and the views of several outside experts that the investigation is likely to continue well into 2018.
“I’d like to see the president out from under this by Thanksgiving, but certainly by year end,” Cobb said, adding that he would be “embarrassed” otherwise. “I think the relevant areas of inquiry by the special counsel are narrow.”
Mueller is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, among other matters. Moscow has denied interfering in the election and the president has denied collusion took place.
Cobb, who resigned from law firm Hogan Lovells to take the White House job, said he meets with or talks to Trump almost daily and interacts with Mueller’s team. Cobb said he could not discuss those communications.
The Gateway Pundit reported this week that top FBI investigator Peter Strzok quit special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
ABC News reports:
One of the FBI‘s top investigators, tapped by special counsel Robert Mueller just weeks ago to help lead the probe of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, has left Mueller’s team, sources tell ABC News.
The recent departure of FBI veteran Peter Strzok is the first known hitch in a secretive probe that by all public accounts is charging full-steam ahead. Just last week, news surfaced that Mueller’s team had executed a search warrant at the Virginia home of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. And the week before that ABC News confirmed Mueller is now using a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., to collect documents and other evidence.
It’s unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller’s team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staff. Strzok, who has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division.
He is no stranger to complex and controversial investigations.
As chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section last year, he helped oversee the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and he took part in the FBI interview of the Democratic presidential candidate.
Last week The Gateway Pundit reported Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election entered a new phase, with the Special Counsel now looking to interview White House officials.