Robert Mueller informed Donald Trump’s lawyers that he’s not a criminal target at this time, according to a report in the Washington Post. But the special counsel is preparing a report on possible obstruction of justice by the president.
Mueller’s description of the president’s status has sparked friction within Trump’s inner circle as his advisers have debated his legal standing. The president and some of his allies seized on the special counsel’s words as an assurance that Trump’s risk of criminal jeopardy is low. Other advisers, however, noted that subjects of investigations can easily become indicted targets — and expressed concern that the special prosecutor was baiting Trump into an interview that could put the president in legal peril.
Yesterday, the paper reported that “Mueller was authorized by a top Justice Department official to investigate whether Paul Manafort, the onetime chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, illegally coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, new court filings show.”
And the first sentence was handed down in the Mueller probe. Attorney Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch national, was sentence to 30 days in prison and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for lying to the FBI following a guilty plea.