By Max Greenwood - 06-14-17 18:36 PM EDT
The special counsel appointed to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia is now looking into whether President Trump sought to obstruct justice, The Washington Post reported.
In the wake of Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey last month, the Department of Justice appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the FBI's probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election. The investigation began last summer and encompasses Trump and his associates' alleged ties to Moscow, as well as the Kremlin's role in mounting a hacking attempt to influence the presidential race in Trump's favor.
Trump claimed, and Comey later affirmed, that Comey assured him he was not personally under FBI investigation. But investigators began probing Trump for obstruction of justice soon after Comey's termination.
Questions about whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice have swirled following Comey's testimony last week to the Senate that the president directed him in February to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
So far, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers and former NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett have agreed to be interviewed as part of Mueller's probe, according to The Post.
Following the Post's report, Trump's outside attorney slammed the FBI for releasing information about the ongoing investigation.
"The FBI leak of information regarding the resident is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal," said Kasowitz spokesperson Mark Corallo.
If the special counsel found evidence of obstruction of justice, the Justice Department would likely not indict the president, according to longstanding precedent. Congress, however, could review the information and determine whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings, The Post reported.
At least four congressional panels are also probing the relevant issues.
Trump has repeatedly denied any coordination with Russia, and has assailed the probe as a "witch hunt." Shortly after firing Comey last month, Trump reportedly told visiting Russian officials that doing away with the former top cop relieved him of "great pressure" because of the investigation.
- This post was updated at 7:17 p.m.