White House

REPORT: Special-Counsel Investigators Asked Kelly about Trump’s Attempt to Fire Mueller

President Trump speaks to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after an event with reporters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., October 10, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters )

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team interviewed White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in recent months about President Trump’s alleged attempt to preemptively conclude their investigation by firing Mueller, CNN reported Friday.

Investigators interviewed Kelly in an attempt to confirm a January New York Times report that indicated Trump ordered then-White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller in June 2017 — an instruction that, if actually issued, may have constituted obstruction of justice.

Citing a number of alleged conflicts of interest, including a dispute over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, Trump demanded that Mueller be fired, but was eventually convinced by advisers that the move would be too costly politically, according to the Times.

While the White House was reportedly receptive to most, if not all, of the special counsel’s previous interview and document requests, White House Counsel Emmett Flood reportedly resisted the request to interview Kelly and stipulated that certain “ground rules” had to be established prior to granting the request.

“In order to question a government official about things that happened during the course of government business, you’ve got to show that it’s highly important and you can’t get it anywhere else,” one source familiar with Flood’s resistance told CNN.

Conflicting reports regarding Kelly’s future in the White House emerged early Friday as CNN reported that his departure was expected in the coming days while The Daily Caller, citing a source familiar with Kelly’s thinking, indicated he has no intention to resign.

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

Washington -- The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy ... Read More