Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia – and whether he is guilty of obstructing justice – continued to heat up on Thursday as new reports indicate that Mueller wants phone records from Air Force One.
According to Politico, Mueller is seeking phone records surrounding a statement the president helped write for his son, Don Jr., after news broke this summer that he met with the Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The report from Politico:
Special counsel Robert Mueller has sought phone records concerning the statement written aboard Air Force One defending a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians at Trump Tower last year that was set up by Donald Trump Jr., according to two people familiar with the investigation.(Continued Below)
Mueller has also asked the White House for documents and emails connected to a May 3 press briefing where Sean Spicer said the president had confidence in James Comey as FBI director, these people said. The request seeks to determine what White House officials – particularly Spicer – knew about the president’s plans to fire Comey in the days before it happened, according to one of the people familiar with it.
The requests, first reported by the New York Times, are the latest indication that Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is expanding to include what has happened in the White House since Trump took office, including questions of obstruction of justice.
The fact that Mueller is requesting Air Force One phone records shows that he is ramping up his inquiry into whether Trump obstructed justice, particularly when it comes to the president’s involvement crafting a statement to defend his son’s meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower last year.
In order to give the impression that Trump had no knowledge of or involvement in the meeting, the White House initially said the president had no role in writing Trump Jr.’s statement.
Shortly after, it was revealed that Trump essentially wrote the misleading statement himself – strong evidence not just that the president had knowledge of his son’s meeting during the campaign, but that he is part of the effort to cover it up.
In other words: obstruction of justice.
Between that and the growing evidence that his campaign colluded with Russia during last year’s presidential campaign, Donald Trump appears to be sinking fast – and Robert Mueller doesn’t appear to have any interest in showing mercy.