WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – There’s a new twist in the scandal over possible obstruction of justice inside the White House.
A New York Times report claims President Donald Trump ordered his top lawyer to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself in the Russia investigation.
The president reportedly urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stay in charge of the Justice Department’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election.
The president, according to the Times, sent the top White House lawyer to stop Sessions from recusing himself from the case. When that effort failed, Trump reportedly erupted in anger, saying “he needed his Attorney General to protect him.”
The newly released book, “Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House,” has brought the obstruction question back into the spotlight.
One of the revelations in the book is how the White House responded when news broke of a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner with a Russian who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. According to author Michael Wolff, the president’s inner circle huddled on Air Force One and decided to say the meeting was primarily about Russian adoptions by Americans.
Wolff writes that Trump campaign lawyer Mark Corallo resigned because he thought that conversation constituted obstruction of justice. Special Counsel Robert Mueller will decide whether to bring a case against the president.
“The saying is you don’t take on the king unless you know, you know you’re right, and you can win, so when I say Special Counsel Mueller will approach this carefully he will,” said former federal prosecutor Scott Fredricksen.
As to the report about the president’s efforts to stop the Attorney General from recusing himself from the case, a spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment.