the Special Counsel. Also during this time period, the President reached out to Christie to get his thoughts on ﬁring the Special Counsel. This evidence shows that the President was notjust seeking an examination of whether conﬂicts existed but instead was looking to use asserted conﬂicts as a way to terminate the Special Counsel. b. Nexus to an ofﬁcial proceeding. To satisfy the proceeding requirement, it would be necessary to establish a nexus between the President’s act of seeking to terminate the Special Counsel and a pending or foreseeable grand jury proceeding. Substantial evidence indicates that by June 17, 2017, the President knew his conduct was under investigation by a federal prosecutor who could present any evidence of federal crimes to a grand jury. On May 23, 2017, McGahn explicitly warned the President that his “biggest exposure” was not his act of ﬁring Comey but his “other contacts” and “calls,” and his “ask re: Flynn.” By early June, it was widely reported in the media that federal prosecutors had issued grand jury subpoenas in the Flynn inquiry and that the Special Counsel had taken over the Flynn investigation?” On June 9, 2017, the Special Counsel’s Ofﬁce informed, the White House that investigators would be interviewing intelligence agency ofﬁcials who allegedly had been asked by the President to push back against the Russia investigation. On June 14, 2017, news outlets began reporting that the President was himself being investigated for obstruction of justice. Based on widespread reporting, the President knew that such an investigation could include his request for Comey’s loyalty; his request that Comey “let Flynn go”; his outreach to Coats and Rogers; and his termination of Comey and statement to the Russian Foreign Minister that the termination had relieved “great pressure” related to Russia. And on June 16, 2017, the day before he directed McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed, the President publicly acknowledged that his conduct was under investigation by a federal prosecutor, tweeting, “I am being investigated for ﬁring the FBI Director by the man who told me to ﬁre the FBI Director!” c. Intent. Substantial evidence indicates that the President’s attempts to remove the Special Counsel were linked to the Special Counsel’s oversight of investigations that involved the President’s conduct—and, most immediately, to reports that the President was being investigated for potential obstruction of justice. Before the President terminated Comey, the President considered it critically important that he was not under investigation and that the public not erroneously think he was being investigated. As described in Volume Ii, Section III), supra, advisers perceived the President, while he was drafting the Comey termination letter, to be concerned more than anything else about getting out that he was not personally under investigation. When the President learned of the appointment of the Special Counsel on May 17, 2017, he expressed ﬁthher concern about the investigation, saying “[t]his is the end of my Presidency.” The President also faulted Sessions for recusing, saying “you were supposed to protect me.” On June 14, 2017, when the Washington Post reported that the Special Counsel was investigating the President for obstruction of justice, the President was facing what he had wanted 6“ See, e.g., Evan Perez et al., CNN exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI ’s Russia investigation, CNN (May 9, 2017); Matt Ford, Why Mueller Is Taking Over ihe Michael Flynn Grand Jury, The Atlantic (June 2, 2017). 2r,,ae>.,.,,,W , m. ,
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