From The New York Times — Written by Maggie Haberman — Image courtesy of Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse
Several White House advisers and personal associates of President Trump have urged him to hire an experienced outside lawyer to help him deal with issues arising from a surging controversy over whether his campaign had ties to Russia, according to several people briefed on the conversations.
The recommendations came even before a special counsel was named on Wednesday to lead the investigation into any collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian officials.
Mr. Trump’s aides and allies were said to be especially concerned by the revelation that James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director fired by Mr. Trump, has contemporaneous, detailed memos reconstructing conversations with the president.
While the office of the president is represented by the White House counsel, presidents in the past have employed outside lawyers when their private actions were called into question.
In conversations with allies inside and outside the White House, Mr. Trump, who rarely assumes blame for the crises he creates, has criticized his staff as serving him poorly. He has spared no one, including the White House counsel, according to two people who have had direct discussions with him.
From The Wall Street Journal and written by Shane Harris and Carol E. Lee —
In the weeks before President Donald Trump fired him, FBI Director James Comey started receiving daily instead of weekly updates on the investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Mr. Comey was concerned by information showing possible evidence of collusion, according to these people.
Meanwhile, a congressional investigation into Russian meddling picked up steam as the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena Wednesday for the president’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, to produce documents relevant to the investigation. And a federal grand jury in Northern Virginia has issued subpoenas for records tied to Mr. Flynn, according to a person familiar with the matter.
With his concerns mounting, Mr. Comey last week sought more resources to support the bureau’s investigation, which began last July. He requested additional personnel from Rod Rosenstein, who had been recently installed as the deputy attorney general, overseeing the FBI, people familiar with the discussions said.
Mr. Comey’s dismissal prompted concerns among Democrats and Republicans that Mr. Trump’s White House was interfering with the FBI probe.