US politics

US election: Donald Trump to be investigated for ‘obstruction of justice’ as part of Russia inquiry

Trump had received private assurances from sacked FBI Director James Comey that he was not being investigated for alleged Russian meddling in the US polls.

The special counsel overseeing the investigation of Russia’s alleged meddling into the 2016 United States presidential election is probing newly-elected Donald Trump for possible “obstruction of justice”, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. In this regard, counsel Robert S Mueller III has sought interviews with senior US intelligence officials.

US President Trump had received private assurances from sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey that he was not being personally investigated for alleged Russian interference into the US election. However, Mueller III has now sought to question Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s former deputy, Richard Ledgett. All three men have agreed to the interview next week. Last week, Coats and Rogers declined to answer questions before the US Congress about the matter, reported The New York Times.

Mueller’s office has also asked the National Security Agency for any documents or notes related to the agency’s interactions with the White House as part of the Russian investigation. The NSA said in a statement that it will “fully cooperate with the special counsel” and declined to comment further.

The Washington Post quoted “people familiar with the matter” to say that the investigation into Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice began a few days after Comey was fired on May 9. Comey had confirmed during his congressional testimony on March 20 that the FBI was investigating any possible coordination between Trump and the Russians. Soon after Comey’s testimony, Trump spoke to Coats and Rogers, asking them to intervene in the matter, a request they refused.

As part of the investigation, the special counsel has also collected Comey’s written accounts of his conversations with Trump. The president had accused Comey of lying about these meetings.

Mueller is also overseeing many investigations involving people who are or were in Trump’s orbit. Trump’s possible contacts with Russian operatives as well as any suspicious financial activity is being examined, The Washington Post said.

Comey stated before the US Senate Intelligence Committee last week that he was certain he was fired because of the president’s concerns about the Russia investigation.

Meanwhile, Trump on Thursday lashed out at reports that he is being investigated, labelling it a “witch hunt”.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.