Special Counsel Robert Mueller is focusing his investigation on a ‘critical 18-day’ timespan, according to NBC News, a period just after senior officials in the White House were told that National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was susceptible to blackmail by Russia.
They further report that Mueller is going after President Trump for obstruction of Justice, say two people familiar with Mueller’s investigation.
Per NBC News:
Multiple sources say that during interviews, Mueller’s investigators have asked witnesses, including White House Counsel Don McGahn and others who have worked in the West Wing, to go through each day that Flynn remained as national security adviser and describe in detail what they knew was happening inside the White House as it related to Flynn.
Some of those interviewed by Mueller’s team believe the goal is in part to determine if there was a deliberate effort by President Trump or top officials in the West Wing to cover up the information about Flynn that Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, conveyed to McGahn on Jan. 26. In addition to Flynn, McGahn is also expected to be critical in federal investigators’ attempts to piece together a timeline of those 18 days.
The question being asked: What did Trump know and when did he know it?
It looks like Robert Mueller is really close to answering that question. A ton of evidence contradicting Trump’s claims regarding Michael Flynn have already surfaced, and Flynn himself is in the process of negotiating a plea deal to speak out publicly against Trump. That spells bad news for the president.
Flynn has already pleaded guilty earlier this month for lying to the FBI.
Previously, Trump told the world that he fired Flynn because he didn’t know that he spoke to Russia’s ambassador about illegally removing sanctions against the country at a time when he wasn’t even president it. However, email documents and Flynn’s own testimony show that to be a lie. Now, all Mueller is doing is getting the evidence together proving that Trump did, in fact, know about it.
The controversy will also affect Vice President Pence since, he too, claimed he didn’t know that sanctions were discussed. If Mueller finds that Pence obstructed justice, well, that means that Pence isn’t going to be the next President of the United States should Trump go down. The present line of succession to the presidency would have the Speaker of the House of Representatives next in line, meaning Paul Ryan.