Even as members of Congress were mulling the possible expansion of the case into a cover-up probe, the scandal appeared to grow.
WASHINGTON — Investigators into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections are authorized to probe whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
A Justice Department official, who asked not to be identified, confirmed that Rosenstein told House members that the special counsel in charge of the probe, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, “has been given the authority to investigate the possibility of a cover-up.” But he denied that Rosenstein had told Congress such a probe was under way, noting that Rosenstein had declined to provide details of what is being explored. Where the investigation goes would be up to Mueller, the Justice Department official said.
Even as members of Congress were mulling the possible expansion of the case into a cover-up probe and its reclassification from counterintelligence to criminal, the scandal appeared to grow.
The Washington Post reported Friday afternoon that federal investigators were looking at a senior White House official as a “significant person of interest.” The article did not identify the official, though it noted that the person was “someone close to the president.”
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A person of interest is someone law-enforcement identifies as relevant to an investigation but who has not been charged or arrested.
Among Trump’s senior White House advisers are several former campaign officials, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway. In March, Kushner volunteered to answer lawmakers’ questions about meetings he had with Russian officials during the transition.
Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify publicly…