Mueller witnesses who have already served in the White House now fear Trump's Ire



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WASHINGTON – President Trump and his lawyers decided early on to cooperate fully with the special advocate's investigation hoping that by 2017 they could speed up the end if they give prosecutors unhindered access to aid. from the White House and other Trump collaborators.

Instead, the 448-page report of the special council, Robert S. Mueller III, released on Thursday, revealed that investigators had used dozens of hours of testimony from Trump's advisers to paint a detailed and prejudicial picture of his efforts to interfere in the conflict. investigation.

Now, some of the witnesses named in the report, who left the White House but rely on access to Mr. Trump for a living, fear his anger. Some have started calling current and former government officials and others into the president's orbit for clues about Mr. Trump's state of mind, according to four special witnesses who spoke under the covered by anonymity.

One day, a few days before the report was released, one of his friends called friends and colleagues to see if he could ask the Department of Justice to strike his name out of Mr. Mueller's report, according to two people who had state of this case. The idea did not result in anything.

In the time it takes to publish a critical tweet or vex former collaborators, the president may jeopardize their Trump insider status and convince his supporters and substitutes in the media to align themselves against those who have cooperated with the investigation of the special council.

In Washington, lobbying companies and corporations looking for new ideas for administration and advice on how to navigate with an unpredictable president who sets policy on Twitter have sought out those who worked for him.

The former White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, today a consultant, has been mistaken for someone who understands Mr. Trump. Former White House lawyer Donald F. McGahn II is a partner in the Jones Day law firm, which represents Trump's presidential campaign. Former Trump campaign director Corey Lewandowski wrote two books that depended a lot on his access to the president.

And even if the witnesses escaped Mr. Trump's wrath for the moment, they could find themselves a little later when they were called to testify at Capitol Hill while the Democrats scrutinized the president. The Mueller Report provided a road map for congressional Democrats, whose leaders were under increased pressure on Friday to begin impeachment proceedings when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts called to come closer to the ousting of Mr Trump, first first presidential candidate to do so.

Handwritten notes from another White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, feature in a key element of the narrative of a possible obstruction of presidential justice, describing Mr. Trump's unsuccessful efforts. to persuade Mr. McGahn to challenge the statements he made to the investigators. .

While these unflattering details crept into the media report, the first wave of public attacks by Mr. Trump and his legal team broke out. Mr. Trump tweeted on Friday that "statements are made about me by some people in the report Crazy Mueller, itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are manufactured in a totally false way".

"Pay attention to people taking so-called" notes ", while notes did not exist until needed," said Trump. He did not identify the witnesses to whom he was referring, but the report indicates that the President complained to Mr. McGahn of taking notes.

Since the report was released, Trump has privately complained to several collaborators, including Mr. McGahn, whose interviews have been cited by investigators on 157 occasions, more than the other 500 or so witnesses.

The president spoke Friday about Mueller's reports on his golf course in Florida, dismissing the findings and stating that he was watching who in his orbit had participated in the investigation, according to a person who spoke to M Trump.

Mr. Trump had not read the document himself, according to his relatives. This means that the fate of the witnesses will depend in the coming days on how they are portrayed on television and how friends and advisers tell Mr. Trump, who spent the weekend in his club in Mar- a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. ., about the report.

The President has been complaining for a long time about Mr. McGahn, a long-time lawyer in Washington, who was the main advocate for the Trump campaign and who has frequently clashed with Mr. Trump during his two years as a lawyer. of the White House. At the White House, he took charge of one of Mr. Trump's most important accomplishments – stacking federal courts with conservative judges – but fell out of favor with the president by taking no action to protect him scrutiny by the Department of Justice.

While the investigation was continuing, the president told an assistant that Mr. McGahn "had leaked into the media to make himself look good" and had called him "liar bastard," wrote investigators.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney Mr. McGahn attacked and the memories he shared with prosecutors, denying that the president ordered Mr. McGahn to dismiss Mr. Mueller. Mr. Trump was simply expressing his frustrations about the investigation, Giuliani said.

"All you get is a version of events, and the actual version of events can be very different," Giuliani said in an interview.

"I do not want to go as far as to say that he lied," Giuliani said of Mr. McGahn. "He is wrong. He may have a bad memory.

Mr. McGahn's lawyer, William A. Burck, stated that his client's account in the report was accurate. "It's a mystery why Rudy Giuliani believes that the need to relaunch the investigations that the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General concluded was not an obstruction," Burck said in a statement. "Nevertheless, Don appreciates the fact that the President has given him the opportunity to serve as a White House lawyer and assist him in his remarkable achievements."

Some witnesses and their lawyers reacted to Mr. Trump's anger at the report and said it was his decision to cooperate with Mueller's investigators. Three former White House assistants, witnesses to the investigation, said that Mr. Trump and one of his lawyers had decided in 2017 not to claim the privilege of senior management and had also encouraged assistants to cooperate with the special advocate.

Mr. Trump and Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer who encouraged the participation, set up a class in which witnesses had to come forward with investigators or risk being charged with perjury. Now, they said Trump was blaming them for being able to claim privilege over his conversations with aides and to prevent investigators from inquiring about them.

The idea that Mr. McGahn is the target of the president's anger is complicated by the fact that Mr. McGahn has tried to prevent the White House from cooperating so widely. But by the time the President decided to cooperate, Mr. McGahn had fallen out of favor with Mr. Trump, largely because he had refused to fire Mr. Mueller and the President had blamed him, in part, for for the appointment of the special advocate.

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