U.S. President Donald Trump took aim Thursday at the report special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the president for obstruction of justice.
After meeting with Mueller in a classified session, the leaders of the Senate panel indicated that their inquiry would steer clear of obstruction of justice to focus instead on Russian Federation meddling in the elections - and whether there was any Trump campaign collusion with officials tied to the Kremlin.
The two senators have overseen a series of explosive public hearings into the Russian Federation issue and have publicly asked to meet meet with Mr. Mueller several times since his appointment last month in the wake of President Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.
"Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, and Richard Ledgett, until recently Mr Rogers' deputy, agreed to be interviewed by investigators", the BBC says.
Beyond Mueller's investigation, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday announced it would pursue investigations into any efforts to influence the FBI's work on the Russian Federation matter and the events leading up to fired FBI Director James Comey.
Grassley's office said the letter is in response to a recent letter from Feinstein requesting that the committee seek details from senior Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership about Comey's interactions with Trump before he was sacked. Trump is said to be proud of yesterday's not-so-nimble refusal to pledge support to Mueller, seeing it as an artfully tactical ploy aimed at steering the investigation toward his desired outcome of total, public exoneration. Comey said he declined to tell agents working on the case about his conversation with Trump to shield them.
So Trump, in his zeal to show he wasn't being personally investigated and rid his administration of a troublesome probe, made himself the focus of an investigation and created a much more troublesome probe for his administration. Earlier this week, reports emerged that Trump was thinking about firing Mueller, too - an act that would likely lead to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's resignation, and perhaps a governmental crisis.
The Post reported also on Wednesday that investigators are also looking for evidence of financial crimes among Trump associates. Trump later contradicted his own staff, saying on May 11 he had the Russian Federation issue in mind when he fired Comey.
SHAPIRO: Is it your understanding that the dismissal of FBI Director Comey could have been what triggered this expansion of the investigation into possible obstruction of justice? And I think, frankly, our story shows that the president is by no means out of the woods as far as the investigation goes.
The claim that Trump wants to terminate Mueller, divulged by the chief executive of Newsmax Media and friend of Trump, Christopher Ruddy, was predictably accompanied by paltry bickering within the White House, as The New York Times reports. As the White House aides scrambling to calm the president surely understand, even Trump could not survive such a seismic and egocentric abuse of power. The Post has reported that the three met just before Comey was sacked and that Trump - having already made a decision to fire Comey - demanded that Rosenstein memo as a rationale.
It stands to reason that the circumstances surrounding Comey's firing would now be at the center of Mueller's query.
"Obstruction is criminal - there's a criminal aspect to that", committee Chairman Sen.