As special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation continues to simmer, President Trump's legal team is allegedly brainstorming how to throw cold water on it, "people familiar with the effort" tell the Washington Post. Among the strategies reportedly on the table is an attempt to slow or stop Mueller's efforts by working up a laundry list of alleged conflicts of interest (one reportedly involves his past membership at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia), which is a DOJ technicality that could give Attorney General Jeff Sessions the go-ahead to remove Mueller from his role. Another possible tool Trump and Co. are said to be mulling: the power of the presidential pardon, with one Post source noting Trump's lawyers have been talking this option over.
Another adds that Trump has been inquiring about the intricacies of the pardoning process and how it could work in regard to aides, members of his family—and even himself—as it relates to the probe. One Trump adviser downplays that latter nugget, telling the Post Trump is just trying to get the full picture on how pardons work. "This is not in the context of, 'I can't wait to pardon myself,'" the aide says. And Trump attorney Jay Sekulow refutes that piece of Post reporting entirely, telling CBS News "pardons are not being discussed and are not on the table." Trump's legal team is also reportedly in transition, with a CBS report Friday that Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, is now out (the New York Times notes Kasowitz's role is simply "reduced"); Kasowitz's spokesman, Mark Corallo, has resigned.