There was a point in the not-too-distant past at which the Russia scandal focused on events that unfolded during the 2016 election cycle. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation moves forward, it's increasingly obvious that the probe's focus includes examining all kinds of things Donald Trump has done since taking office.
The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering areas including the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under investigation, according to two people briefed on the requests.White House lawyers are now working to turn over internal documents that span 13 categories that investigators for the special counsel have identified as critical to their probe, the people said.
I've heard from a few readers who were struck by the on-screen visual Rachel featured, highlighting the areas of interest to Mueller and his team, based largely on the Post's reporting, so here's your clip-and-save version: The special counsel has asked for:
1. Internal communications and documents related to Mike Flynn's FBI interview in January.2. Documents related to Flynn`s conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.3. Records on acting Attorney General Sally Yates' warnings to the White House about Flynn.4. Materials related to Flynn's departure from the White House.5. Communications on Trump's campaign foreign-policy team, which may have included at least one suspected Russian agent.6. Documents related to Trump's meetings with former FBI Director James Comey before his firing.7. Records of internal White House discussions about Comey's firing.8. Documents related to external White House communications about Comey's firing.9. Documents related to Sean Spicer's comments about Comey the week before his firing.10. Materials related to Trump's Oval Office meeting with Russian officials the day after Comey's firing.11. Records related to last summer's Trump Tower meeting between top members of Trump's team and Putin-connected Russians.12. Documents related to the White House's response to media inquiries about the Trump Tower meeting.13. Any email or document the White House holds that relates to Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman.
Remember when there was a question about whether or not Trump's actions were themselves the subject of a federal investigation? That no longer appears to be in doubt.
And in case all of this weren't quite enough, there's also the latest revelations about Manafort's associations and communications during the campaign. From a separate Post piece:
Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said."If he needs private briefings we can accommodate," Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.
I guess Trump's talking point about no one on his team communicating with Russians during the campaign is no longer operative.