Mueller investigating Jared Kushner's business dealings

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's move to investigate whether Donald Trump sought to get the Federal Bureau of Investigation to back off from a probe of his former national security adviser has angered the president and raised the stakes in the inquiry of Russian meddling in the USA election.

The Post reported that the interviews represent a widening of the probe to include looking into whether the President obstructed justice in suggesting to his former FBI Director James Comey that Comey drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, as well as for his firing of Comey. The news comes just one day after the Post reported the special counsel is investigating President Trump for possible obstruction of justice.

It was previously reported that investigators were looking into meetings Kushner had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as well as head of state-owned Russian bank Sergey Gorkov back in December of past year.

Mueller's plans emerged just a week after Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump pressed him in February to ease up on an investigation into Flynn.

The White House has said the subsequent meeting with the banker was a pre-inauguration diplomatic encounter, unrelated to business matters.

The Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, which has been the subject of United States sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea, has said Gorkov and Kushner's meeting was held for business reasons because of the advisor's role as head of his family's real estate company. As the Post notes, the meeting took place as Kushner's family sought financing for the hulking, debt-laden office building they own at 666 Fifth Avenue.

However, Mueller's investigation is in a relatively early phase, and it is unclear whether criminal charges will be brought when it is complete, USA officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post on Thursday.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has brought 13 lawyers on board to handle the Russian Federation investigation, with plans to hire more, according to his spokesman Peter Carr.

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Comey also said Trump repeatedly sought assurances that he wasn't a target of the Russian Federation investigation.

He met with the two top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday to discuss preventing conflicts in their separate investigations into Russian election interference, and he's set to meet with House Intelligence panel leaders in coming days.

Baker's views didn't change, even as Comey told Trump a second and third time that he was not being investigated.

As Mueller's probe continues, Vice President Mike Pence has retained private counsel over this matter.

Comey took notes after each of his nine meetings or phone calls with Trump, including one alone with the president in the Oval Office on February 14, the day after Flynn was forced to resign.

"When I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself - I said, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story", Trump told Lester Holt of NBC News in an interview broadcast May 11.

Trump spoke to Coats and Rogers about the Russian Federation investigation, according to officials. Coats later told lawmakers he never felt pressured to intervene.

Kushner's lawyer denied the latest allegations on Thursday in a statement. Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the president's requests, officials said.

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