(The Hill) President Trump’s legal team and political allies have launched a preemptive strike against special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump’s backers are furious about a story that appeared Wednesday in the Washington Post, in which five anonymous sources alleged that the president is the target of an obstruction of justice investigation for allegedly trying to bury an FBI probe into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
The timing of that story, which was published on Trump’s birthday and a week after the White House believed the president had moved beyond allegations of election collusion with Russia, was viewed by Trump’s allies as evidence that the story was planted by law enforcement officials to ensure a shadow of suspicion would remain.
It is unclear whether the Post story was leaked by the special counsel, the FBI, former FBI director James Comey and his allies, or witnesses that have been contacted by those law enforcement agencies as part of the investigation.
Many legal experts suspect the leaks didn’t come from the special counsel or from current or former FBI officials, but rather from those who have been reached for questioning as part of the probe — or their staffers.
“The Special Counsel’s Office has undertaken stringent controls to prohibit unauthorized disclosures that deal severely with any member who engages in this conduct,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told The Hill.
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