Mueller Expands Dragnet: Requests Extensive Documents from Trump White House

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has in recent weeks asked the White House for documents as part of his investigation into Russian meddling and any possible collusion with the Trump campaign, according to the New York Times.

Mueller’s office sent a document to the White House detailing 13 different areas investigators want more information about, according to the report.

The Times asserted that the document requests show that several aspects of his probe “are focused squarely on Mr. Trump’s behavior.”

Mueller’s document request does not indicate any examination of Trump’s personal finances or business dealings, the report said.

But Mueller is requesting more information related to the firings of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey; internal communications about Manafort and other former campaign advisers; and how the White House dealt with a press inquiry over Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lobbyist.

The Times does not specifically break down the 13 areas, but notes:

— four of the requests have to do with Flynn, including all internal communications about Flynn’s interview with the FBI about calls he had in December with Kislyak (which turned up nothing illicit, according to the Washington Post);

— three of the requests have to do with Comey’s firing, and meetings between Comey and Trump;

— the request includes how the White House responded to questions from the Times about Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lobbyist;

— it includes the president’s Oval Office meeting in May with Russian Amb. Sergei Kislyak, where he reportedly called Comey a “nut job” and said firing Comey relieved “great pressure” on him;

— the requests include internal White House communications about seven former campaign advisers, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and early foreign policy campaign advisers Carter Page, J. D. Gordon, Keith Kellogg, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares, and Joseph E. Schmitz;

— how the White House responded to concerns raised by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates that Flynn might be subject to Russian blackmail for misleading Vice President Michael Pence about his calls.

Administration lawyers have been scouring White House emails and asking officials for any documents or notes that pertain to the request, according to the report.

Ty Cobb, Trump’s lead lawyer handling the Russia probe, has said he will turn over many of documents this week.

Cobb was overhead by a New York Times reporter talking out loud earlier this week at a Washington restaurant about wanting to be more transparent than White House counsel Don McGahn in responding to Mueller’s inquiries.


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