Trump lawyers looking into special counsel's potential conflicts of interest: reports

Trump lawyers looking into special counsel's potential conflicts of interest: reports
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE's team of lawyers are looking into potential conflicts of interest for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE and the investigators he has hired for his probe into Russian election meddling.

The Washington Post and The New York Times separately reported on Thursday that the president's attorneys are examining potential conflicts they could use to undercut or discredit the special counsel investigation. 

Among the conflicts of interest they're looking at are investigators' past donations to Democratic political candidates and Mueller's relationship with former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyPavlich: Mueller’s indictment of the media How the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with Trump-Russia dirt … until agents bit Mueller’s report: Release enough, but not too much MORE, whom Trump fired in May and who was previously charged with leading the Russia probe, according to the Times.

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Such conflicts of interest, if valid, could be used by an attorney general to remove a special counsel from an investigation, the Post reported.

Trump and his allies have pointed to Mueller's hiring of investigators with histories of donating to Democratic candidates as evidence that the special counsel's investigation is unfair. 

They have also said that Mueller's alleged friendship with Comey represents a conflict of its own. Mueller served as FBI director from 2001 until 2013, when Comey took charge of the bureau.

In an interview with the Times on Wednesday, Trump said Mueller has "many other conflicts," though he didn't specify any particular issues. 

Trump also left open the possibility that he could eventually fire Mueller and said the special counsel would cross a line if his investigation delves into the Trump family's finances.