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Mueller investigators seek documents from White House


Published: Thu, September 21, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators is seeking information from the White House related to Michael Flynn’s stint as national-security adviser and about the response to a meeting with a Russian lawyer that was attended by President Donald Trump’s oldest son, The Associated Press has learned.

Mueller’s office has requested a large batch of documents from the White House and is expected to interview at least a half dozen current and former aides in the coming weeks. Lawyers for the White House are in the process of trying to cooperate with the document requests and to turn over that information.

Though the full scope of the investigation is not clear, the information requests make clear at least some of the areas that Mueller and his team of prosecutors intend to probe and reveal an interest in certain Trump decisions as president.

A person familiar with the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said investigators want information on, among other topics, a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that Donald Trump Jr. attended with a Russian lawyer as well as on the administration’s response to it.

A statement provided to journalists in July, which the White House has said Trump played a role in drafting, said the meeting was primarily to discuss a disbanded program that used to allow American adoptions of Russian children, but emails released days later by Trump Jr. show that he arranged the encounter with the expectation of receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

The person also said investigators appear interested in White House interactions concerning Flynn, such as what officials including Trump knew about the Justice Department’s investigation into him. Flynn was forced out as national-security adviser in February after White House officials concluded that he had misled them about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Meanwhile, in the middle of Trump’s presidential run, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort said he was willing to provide “private briefings” about the campaign to a Russian billionaire the U.S. government considers close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Manafort’s offer was memorialized in an email exchange with a former employee of his political consulting firm in July 2016. It was first reported by The Washington Post, which said portions of Manafort’s emails were read to reporters.


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