Where the investigations related to President Trump stand as of Jan. 11
Here’s where the investigations related to President Trump stand as of Jan. 11 and what may lie ahead for him:
What’s this all about?
Trump is facing criminal investigations in Washington and New York.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia and whether the president obstructed the investigation. Trump also plays a central role in a separate case in New York, where prosecutors have implicated him in a crime. They say Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal hush-money payments to two women as a way to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign.
New York Times report
The New York Times reported late Jan. 11 that law enforcement officials became so concerned by President Trump’s behavior after the firing of FBI director James Comey that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests. For more on that, click here.
What do I need to know today?
Cohen will testify publicly before a House committee next month in a hearing that could serve as the opening salvo in a promised Democratic effort to greater scrutinize Trump, his conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced Thursday that Cohen will testify before that panel Feb. 7, a little more than a month after the Democrats took the House majority.
The hearing marks the latest step in Cohen’s transformation from a trusted legal adviser to the president to a public antagonist who has cooperated extensively against him. It is likely to pull back the curtain on key episodes involving Trump’s personal life and business dealings, including hush-money payments to women and a proposed Moscow real estate deal, that federal prosecutors have been dissecting for months.
Did the Trump campaign collude with Russia?
There is no smoking gun when it comes to the question of Russia collusion. But the evidence so far shows a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and several lied about the communication.
There is also evidence that some people in the president’s orbit were discussing a possible email dump from WikiLeaks before it occurred. American intelligence agencies and Mueller have said Russia was the source of hacked material released by WikiLeaks during the campaign that was damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential effort.
Other questions to consider
■ What about obstruction of justice? That is another unresolved question that Mueller is pursuing. Investigators have examined key episodes such as Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his fury over the recusal from the investigation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
■ What does Trump have to say? Trump has repeatedly slammed the Mueller investigation as a ‘‘witch hunt’’ and insisted there was ‘‘NO COLLUSION’’ with Russia. He also says his now-former lawyer, Cohen, lied to get a lighter sentence in New York.