Mueller requesting interviews with top intel officials: reports

Mueller requesting interviews with top intel officials: reports
© Greg Nash

Special counsel Robert Mueller has requested interviews with current and former top intelligence officials, according to reports by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Among those the former FBI director is looking to interview are Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsNational counterterrorism chief to retire at the end of year Former intel chief Hayden: Think twice on a Trump job offer Counterintelligence needs reboot for 21st century MORE, National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers and former NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett. 

The Post reported Wednesday that Mueller is looking into whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice. That the president is under investigation personally signals a major shift in the probe, which so far has focused on possible collusion between members of his presidential campaign and the Kremlin.

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The question of whether Trump committed obstruction of justice has swirled in Washington since last month, when reports surfaced that the president had asked then-FBI Director James Comey in February to drop the bureau's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

That conversation was reportedly detailed in a memo authored contemporaneously by Comey, whom Trump abruptly fired last month. Within days of Comey's ouster, investigators began looking into Trump for obstruction of justice, The Post reported.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to head the Russia investigation after Comey's ouster.

But news reports have also raised questions as to whether Trump also sought the help of Coats and Rogers to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

Mueller's requests to interview the officials signals that his investigation is expanding to include the possibility that Trump tried to obstruct justice, according to the Times.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last week, Coats and Rogers repeatedly refused to answer lawmakers' questions about their conversations with Trump in an open setting, though both said they never felt pressured by the president.

Coats, who said last week that he would be willing to discuss such matters in a closed setting, is set to speak with members of the committee in a closed session on Thursday, according to NBC news.