The origin of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation can be traced to the hectic days after President Donald Trump’s fired FBI Director James Comey — including an obstruction case opened by his immediate successor, CNN reported.
According to CNN, which cited unnamed sources, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and top FBI officials viewed Trump as a leader who needed to be reined in.
The officials talked about a range of options, including the idea of Rosenstein wearing a wire while speaking with Trump, which Rosenstein has denied, CNN reported.
Ultimately, then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe opened an obstruction of justice investigation — bringing to life an idea the FBI had previously considered, CNN reported.
According to CNN, the justification for the probe went beyond Trump’s firing of Comey; it also included Trump’s asking Comey to “let this go” on a probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
An unnamed Justice Department official strongly disputed Rosenstein sought to curb the president, saying his conversations with McCabe were about talking through ways to conduct the investigation.
“It’s shocking that the FBI would open up an obstruction case for the president exercising his authority under Article II,” Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told CNN.