Special prosecutor ups pressure on Trump with broad data requests: reports


WASHINGTON, Sept 21, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – Independent prosecutor Robert Mueller has made document requests from the White House which show he is focusing on President Donald Trump’s firing of security advisor Michael Flynn and FBI director James Comey, media reports said Wednesday.

The New York Times and Washington Post said Mueller recently asked the White House for records and communications covering 13 specific areas, particularly key actions by Trump since he became president in January.

Those include Flynn’s and Comey’s firings; an Oval Office meeting Trump had in May with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the day after he fired Comey; and any discussions on how the White House would answer questions about a June 2016 meeting that top campaign officials had with a Russian lawyer offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton, according to the Times.

The requests suggest Mueller, running the sweeping probe into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian interference in the 2016 election, is honing in on the question of whether Trump may have tried to obstruct that investigation.

“The list demonstrates Mueller’s focus on key moments and actions by the president and close advisers that could shed light on whether Trump sought to block the FBI investigations of Flynn and of Russian interference,” the Post said.

Mueller has been moving quickly to interview suspects and possible witnesses in the investigation. It has also targeted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s business relations with a pro-Russia political party and tycoon politician in Ukraine, and Flynn’s alleged unreported work as a lobbyist during and after the election.