President Trump has now reportedly set his team in motion to stifle and smear former FBI director Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion, even allegedly asking advisors about his power to pardon individuals, including aides, family members, and even himself. This follows Wednesday’s New York Times interview where Trump alleged that Mueller may have conflicts that could affect his investigation, threatening that there was more he could share on the special counsel.
The central allegation by Trump is that Mueller was in line to be fired FBI director James Comey’s replacement, sitting for an interview with the president. The New York Times indicates that Trump did not reveal how this would constitute a conflict, but it seems to be the starting point for Team Trump to begin digging at ways to limit Mueller’s investigation. There are also reported Democratic party donations to Mueller’s prosecution team and an alleged history with the president’s golf course in Northern Virginia. Trump advisors are reportedly currently sifting through documents and history for anything they can use to derail the investigation, even slightly according to The New York Times:
The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.
The effort to investigate the investigators is another sign of a looming showdown between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mueller, who has assembled a team of high-powered prosecutors and agents to examine whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers aided Russia’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election.