On Thursday night, the New York Times reported that President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last June. Trump ordered White House counsel Donald F. McGahn to oust Mueller, but backed down when McGahn threatened to resign. Trump, however, has publicly denied even considering firing Mueller.
The defining moment of Jeff Sessions's time as attorney general has been when he recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation. That quickly led to the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is now extensively probing President Trump. And by all accounts, it seriously strained Sessions's relationship with Trump, who thinks Sessions should be protecting him and doing his bidding.
A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump pardoning two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.
Mr. McCabe’s memo, one of several that he wrote, highlights the conflicting roles that Mr. Rosenstein plays in the case. He supervises the special counsel investigation and has told colleagues that protecting it is among his highest priorities. But many current and former law enforcement officials are suspicious of some of his other actions, including allowing some of Mr. Trump’s congressional allies to view crucial documents from the investigation.
When President Trump publicly demanded that the Justice Department open an investigation into the F.B.I.’s scrutiny of his campaign contacts with Russia, he inched further toward breaching an established constraint on executive power: The White House does not make decisions about individual law enforcement investigations.
A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail on Friday to await trial, citing new charges that Mr. Manafort had tried to influence the testimony of two of the government’s witnesses after he had been granted bail. Mr. Trump, in a tweet on Friday, defended Mr. Manafort and criticized Judge Jackson’s action against him, though he seemed to misunderstand what the judge had done.
President Trump said on Sunday that a Trump Tower meeting between top
campaign aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was designed to “get
information on an opponent” — the starkest acknowledgment yet that a
statement he dictated last year about the encounter was misleading.
President Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday to
end the special counsel investigation, an extraordinary appeal to the
nation’s top law enforcement official to halt an inquiry directly into
the president. The order to the attorney general on Twitter immediately raised questions from some lawyers about whether it was an attempt to obstruct justice in the special counsel’s Russia inquiry..
The Utah lawmaker Orrin Hatch, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, filed a 44-page amicus brief earlier this month in Gamble v. United States,
a case that will consider whether the dual-sovereignty doctrine should
be put to rest. The 150-year-old exception to the Fifth Amendment’s
double-jeopardy clause allows state and federal courts to prosecute the
same person for the same criminal offense.
As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year
about President Trump’s role in silencing women with hush payments
during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called Matthew G. Whitaker, his
newly installed attorney general, with a question. He asked whether
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District
of New York and a Trump ally, could be put in charge of the widening
investigation, according to several American officials with direct
knowledge of the call.