WH officials fear colleagues wearing wires for Mueller: report

Greg Nash

Officials working in the White House are reportedly worried that colleagues may be wearing a wire for special counsel Robert Mueller.

The special counsel’s probe into possible connections between President Trump and Russia has caused rising tensions between White House Counsel Don McGahn and Ty Cobb, a lawyer who joined the administration to handle the Mueller probe, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Cobb has urged the administration to hand over as many documents as it can for the special counsel’s probe, while McGahn is worried about precedents that could weaken the White House for future administrations, the report said.

This tension has reportedly led to officials privately saying they thought colleagues could be wearing a wire to record conversations for Mueller, according to the Times.

Mueller and his team are investigating Russia’s meddling in the United States election and any potential ties between Trump’s campaign staff and the Kremlin. Mueller, as part of the probe, is also investigating whether or not Trump obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey.


Mueller has requested emails and documents as part of the investigation, which Cobb has placed into 13 groups. While officials did not provide the Times with additional details, they said the White House has yet to deny any of Mueller’s asks.

Cobb argues that the administration should include as much as possible in providing the special counsel with documents, contending they will clear Trump of any wrongdoing, the report said.

McGahn is worried that such an “approach could limit any later assertion of executive privilege,” according to the Times, and has accused Cobb of sluggishly assembling documents.

One complication that could arise is that McGahn may become a witness in the investigation, according to the report. Mueller hopes to interview him about the firing of Comey and about the management of questions pertaining to a meeting Donald Trump Jr. had in 2016 with a Russian lawyer.

McGahn has expressed a willingness to meet with those conducting the probe, while his lawyer has requested that Cobb let him know if Trump will use executive or attorney-client privilege, the Times wrote.

McGahn could be in legal trouble if he does not follow the rules about the communications he can disclose, the newspaper said. He did not return The Times’ requests for comment.

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