One of Donald Trump's lawyers insisted Sunday that the president was not under criminal investigation as part of the sweeping probe into Russia's alleged meddling in American elections, despite the USA leader's tweets angrily calling the whole saga a "distraction".
Barak Cohen, a former Justice Department lawyer and now a defence attorney specialising in white-collar crime and investigations, said there was no requirement that the special counsel notify Trump he was under investigation, so the lack of such notice meant nothing.
Sekulow suggested that Trump had taken to Twitter because the president wanted to fight back against news organizations that Trump and his supporters have repeatedly accused of using leaks and anonymous sources to undermine the president. What makes this discussion so weird is that not only does the President appear to be the subject of an investigation but as a factual matter there's nearly no question that he's guilty.
Later, however, in an interview on "Fox News Sunday", Sekulow conceded that he could not be sure of his statement. That interview went a bit differently. And attached to that is a memorandum from the former - not this case - from the deputy attorney general's office, where he lays out the reason of his concern, and recommendation of removal was because of the handling of the Hillary Clinton matter. He takes the action that they also, by the way, recommended.
The source familiar with the Mueller probe told Reuters that Mueller was also examining whether Trump or others tried to interfere with the investigation. Not an independent counsel.
"So, he's being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take, by the agency who recommended the termination". So that's the constitutional threshold question here.
TAPPER: So the president said, "I am under investigation", even though he isn't under investigation? Watch below (starting at 3:00) for the fireworks that ensued.
On Friday, Trump himself tweeted that he was "being investigated for firing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director by the man who told me to fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation director". Uh, okay, says Wallace.
Pakistani PM hopes for swift solution to crisis over Qatar
A United Kingdom government report also identified Saudi Arabia as a key sponsor of groups involved in radicalizing young Britons. Turkey and Qatar have developed close ties over the years and reached agreement in 2014 to set up a Turkish military base there.
If the question is, did President Trump act to impede or end a legitimate investigation for the purposes of protecting himself or his friends I think his goose is probably close to cooked.
WALLACE: Well, but you don't know that he isn't under investigation now, do you?
According to the U.S. Attorney's Manual, prosecutors are encouraged to notify investigation targets at a "reasonable time" before seeking an indictment, to provide a target the opportunity to testify in front of a grand jury.
"You're right, Chris. I can not read the mind of the special prosecutor", Sekulow responded. If you look at James Comey's testimony and we were trying this in a court of law, no judge would exclude that.
Given what we know about the President and the specifics of this case, there is nearly a moral certainty that he told numerous advisors and friends the same thing.
"Oh boy", says Wallace, "this is weird".
Sekulow did not provide much evidence for that statement, which he repeated as he made the rounds on Sunday talk shows.