Special Counsel Robert Mueller has become keenly interested in many White House episodes in which Donald Trump played a central role, not least of which was the crafting of an initial statement about the meeting between Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Kremlin-linked lawyer. That statement—which disintegrated over a period of days under the weight of further reporting—was reportedly dictated by Trump from Air Force One, which has piqued Mueller’s interest. Politico writes:
Special counsel Robert Mueller has sought phone records concerning the statement written aboard Air Force One defending a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians at Trump Tower last year that was set up by Donald Trump Jr., according to two people familiar with the investigation. [...]
The statement about the Trump Tower meeting, written on the return from a European summit earlier this year, touched off a frenzy inside the White House, with dozens of phone calls from Air Force One and back in Washington and New York.
Investigators are particularly interested in what happened inside the White House after former deputy attorney general Sally Yates told White House lawyer Don McGahn of the Flynn meeting with Russians. Flynn was said to have misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition.
What Mueller’s team undoubtedly knows at this point is Yates’ full accounting of those back-to-back meetings in which she informed McGahn that Flynn had been lying and might be compromised. We don’t know all of what transpired in those meetings because Yates wasn’t at liberty to say during her Congressional hearing, but Mueller sure wants to know how that information settled into the West Wing because it took another two weeks before Flynn was finally ousted from his sensitive national security adviser post.
Oh, and in case you missed it, Spicey and his penchant for taking meticulous notes may wind up being a gift to Mueller. If he was as prolific as Axios reporting suggests, his notes could provide a window into White House atmospherics at many of these critical junctures.