CNN sues Justice Department for copies of Comey memo

US President Donald Trump has lashed out at a report that he is under investigation into possible obstruction of justice, dismissing as "phony" the notion his campaign colluded with any Russian effort to sway the 2016 US presidential election.

Mr Trump wrote: "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!" Now, days after Mr. Comey's testimony to Congress, in which MSNBC's Chris Matthews said the Trump-Russian collusion theory collapsed, Mueller is reportedly looking to see if Trump had obstructed justice.

The interviews with the national security officials are a sign that Mueller is prioritizing the question of obstruction, says Washington Post reporter Adam Entous, and turning the focus on the president himself, not just his administration.

Rod Rosenstein recommended to President Trump that he fire former FBI Chief James Comey, though also chose to bring in Robert Mueller, now the probe's special counsel.

The letter said the investigation will also probe Comey's testimony that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe an FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation.

Kasowitz said on Wednesday that leaking Federal Bureau of Investigation information about the president was "outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", although he did not question the content of the article. Rosenstein also approved the appointment of Mueller as special counsel after the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Yet, the president's tweet contradicts his own comments about how and when he chose to fire Comey.

Special counsel Mueller apparently disagrees and is actively investigating.

Mr Trump was strongly critical of some of Mr Comey's testimony but said Mr Comey had vindicated him by saying while he was at the agency, Mr Trump was not the subject of the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

At the December meeting with [Russian Ambassador Sergey] Kislyak, Kushner suggested establishing a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to USA officials who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak's account.

While a sitting president is unlikely to face criminal prosecution, obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment.

But a source close to the President told CNN's Jim Acosta that Trump has been advised to avoid such a dramatic move.

Burr said there's a reason for the committee's interest in interviewing these senior intelligence officials: To determine whether there was any collusion between Russian officials and Trump associates, a sign that obstruction was not part of his panel's purview.

On the other hand, the bigger national security question of Russian interference in the 2016 elections is something that is still being looked into by investigators on Capitol Hill and the special counsel.

"The vice president has retained Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel", Pence communications director Jared Agen said in a statement.

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