Attorney Jay Sekulow .one of the lawyers to the United States president, Donald Trump said on Sunday that the president is not under any investigation, contradicting Trump’s own tweet acknowledging a probe.
U.S. President Donald Trump, the lawyer said, is not under investigation by the prosecutor probing Russian meddling in last year’s election and his possible obstruction of justice.
Attorney Jay Sekulow told NBC and CNN in interviews that Trump “is not under investigation by the special counsel,” Robert Mueller, although Trump said Friday that Mueller is investigating him.
Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was named last month to conduct a wide ranging criminal probe whether Trump campaign aides illegally colluded with Russian officials to help Trump win and also whether Trump obstructed justice in firing another FBI director, James Comey, at a time he was leading the Russia investigation before Mueller’s appointment.
Comey told lawmakers earlier this month that Trump in recent months had asked for his personal loyalty, urged him to drop the investigation of the contacts the president’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had with Russia’s ambassador to Washington, and to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation, none of which he acceded to.
Trump at first attributed Comey’s firing to a recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for his handling of an investigation last year into the use of a private email server by Trump’s defeated challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
But Trump later acknowledged that he had already made up his mind to fire Comey before receiving the Rosenstein recommendation and that he dismissed Comey because of “this Russia thing,” believing that the probe of Russian interference in the election was an excuse being used by Democrats to explain Clinton’s stunning upset loss.
In a comment Friday on his Twitter account, Trump said, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
Rosenstein appointed Mueller to be the special counsel in the investigation, although Mueller is actually conducting it.
Sekulow said that Trump’s comment was specifically in response to a Washington Post story, quoting unnamed sources familiar with the Mueller investigation, as saying that Mueller was probing whether Trump obstructed justice in firing Comey.