Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wants to interview President Trump about his firing of James Comey and Michael Flynn.
On Tuesday, the UK-based Independent reported that former FBI Director Robert Mueller — who was appointed special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey — is seeking an interview with the President in regard to Trump’s firings of both Comey and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and whether or not he obstructed justice in doing so (Trump’s lawyer argues that it is impossible for a president to obstruct justice).
Comey was suddenly fired last year, mere days after asking more funding for the FBI’s investigation into whether or not Trump’s presidential campaign knowingly colluded with Russian intelligence during the course of the election. In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump alluded to the Russia investigation when asked why he fired his FBI director.
“When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,” Trump said in the May 11 interview (quote at 1:20).
Mueller also wants to ask Trump about his decision to ask for the resignation of Michael Flynn — the three-star general appointed as the White House National Security Adviser less than two weeks after winning the presidential election. Flynn’s departure came after the details of a conversation between Flynn and former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak surfaced in which the two discussed the lifting of sanctions against Russia. This is significant, as Trump was not yet inaugurated as president, meaning Flynn was still a private citizen, which would be a violation of the Logan Act.
Roughly a month after taking the job, Flynn reportedly met with representatives of the Turkish government, who offered him a $15 million payment to help kidnap and extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accused of organizing a coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI, and is cooperating in Mueller’s investigation.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.