Mueller has hired 13 new lawyers to help him handle his investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice and if members of his presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
The team of lawyers is expected to speak with members of the intelligence community about Russian interference in the election and whether Trump obstructed justice by allegedly asking then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the agency’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, members of Trump’s transition team were ordered to preserve documents and other material related to the Russia investigation, the New York Times reported. The transition team was led by Vice President Mike Pence.
The preservation order covers any information involving Russia or Ukraine, and records on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former foreign policy adviser Carter Page, business partner Rick Gates, informal adviser and friend Roger Stone, and Flynn, according to a memo obtained by the Times. The order also demands that records be kept on any foreign travel by members of Trump’s transition team and presidential campaign.
“With this in mind please immediately suspend any deletion, modification, overwriting, or other possible destruction of the information described above, including electronic information, and take all reasonable measures to preserve this information,” the memo said, according to the Times.
The probe’s growing intensity is clearing getting under Trump’s skin. In the past several days the president has made a number of bizarre tweets hitting back hard on the probe – calling it “phony,” a “witch hunt” and lamented (what he perceived) as a lack of evidence.
“After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ‘collusion with the Russians,’ nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!” Trump wrote early Friday.
The president later confirmed in a tweet that he is under federal investigation.