What’s this all about?
Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia and whether the president obstructed the investigation. Mr. Trump also plays a central role in a separate case in New York, where prosecutors have implicated him in a crime. They say Mr. 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 prosecutors also are looking into Mr. Trump’s inaugural fund.
What do I need to know right now?
A key Democratic lawmaker says it’s “very clear” President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says the panel is requesting documents Monday from more than 60 people from Mr. Trump’s administration, family and business as part of a rapidly expanding Russia investigation.
Nadler said the Judiciary Committee wants to review documents from the Justice Department, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. Former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn also are likely targets, he said.
“We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption and into obstruction of justice,” Mr. Nadler said. “We will do everything we can to get that evidence.”
Asked if he believed Mr. Trump obstructed justice, Mr. Nadler said, “Yes, I do.”
So … 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 that a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and several lied about the communications.
There is evidence that some people in Mr. Trump’s orbit were discussing a possible email dump from WikiLeaks before it occurred. American intelligence agencies and Mr. Mueller have said Russia was the source of hacked material released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks during the campaign that was damaging to Democrat 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 Mr. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and Mr. Trump’s fury over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal.
What does Mr. Trump have to say about all this? Mr. Trump has repeatedly slammed the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt” and insisted there was “NO COLLUSION” with Russia. He also says Mr. Cohen lied to get a lighter sentence in New York.
When will it all wrap up? It’s unclear. Then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in January that the probe is “close to being completed,” the first official sign that Mr. Mueller’s investigation may be wrapping up. But he gave no specific timetable.