As part of his ongoing investigation, special counselor Robert Mueller has posed a question to witnesses that may prove fatal to Trump’s innocence.
Mueller’s team has begun asking “whether Donald Trump was aware that Democratic emails had been stolen before that was publicly known, and whether he was involved in their strategic release, according to multiple people familiar with the probe,” according to NBC News.
WikiLeaks notoriously published hacked Democratic National Committee e-mails that would ultimately hurt the Democratic Party and, in turn, Hillary Clinton in favor of Donald Trump. The intelligence community has resolved that the e-mails were stolen by Russia and disseminated by WikiLeaks. The inquiries, then, could suggest that Mueller is actively investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
One particular focus in the probe is Trump’s comments at a news conference on July 27, 2016, at which he said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” The remark came only days after WikiLeaks published a slew of damaging DNC e-mails.
Per NBC News:
Witnesses have been asked whether Trump himself knew then that Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails were released several months later, had already been targeted. They were also asked if Trump was advised to make the statement about Clinton’s emails from someone outside his campaign, and if the witnesses had reason to believe Trump tried to coordinate the release of the DNC emails to do the most damage to Clinton, the people familiar with the matter said.
Trump, for his part, has maintained that the investigation into his campaign’s collusion with Russia is nothing more than a “witch hunt,” a common – and desperate – refrain for anyone who follows the President’s Twitter account.
“Russians had no compromising information on Donald Trump” @FoxNews Of course not, because there is none, and never was. This whole Witch Hunt is an illegal disgrace…and Obama did nothing about Russia!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
Trump may appeal to his supporters on Twitter all day and night, but that isn’t stopping Mueller from inching ever closer to the President and his inner circle.