President Donald Trump tried to shut down the investigation of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller last December after it purportedly crossed a "red line" in seeking information about his business dealings, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
According to the Times, which cited interviews with eight White House officials, the president at the time was angry about reports of a new round of subpoenas targeting his business with Deutsche Bank.
As it turned out, Mueller's office denied the reports and Trump backed down, the Times reported.
The episode was the second time Trump is known to have considered firing Mueller. The other instance was last June, when White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit if Trump would not stop trying to get him to boot Mueller.
According to the Times, the Justice Department might now again be walking dangerously close to Trump's red line with the raid of Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
The articles that angered Trump in December said one of Mueller's subpoenas had targeted Trump's and his family's banking records at Deutsche Bank. Trump did not have money there, his lawyers said, the Times reported.
With Trump openly discussing a shutdown, however, have been significant enough to attract attention from Mueller himself, the Times reported.
Mueller's investigators have interviewed current and former White House officials and have requested documents to understand whether these efforts show evidence the president is trying to obstruct the Justice Department's investigation, two sources told the Times.
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