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Donald Trump's staff 'wiping their electronic devices' in anticipation of giving evidence

The Independent logo The Independent 26/03/2017 Lucy Pasha-Robinson
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White house officials and members of Donald Trump’s transition team are reportedly “purging” their electronic devices to avoid being compromised by subpoenas, it has been claimed.

The accusation comes just weeks after government lawyers ordered the president’s aides to preserve any materials that could be connected to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

One legal expert told MSNBC - the channel that first reported the allegations based on testimony from an inside source - there could be “legal ramifications” for staff who destroyed crucial evidence relating to ongoing investigations.

The Trump administration is currently under FBI investigation for possible collusion between Russian operatives and presidential aides.

The House Intelligence Committee is also investigating alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia based on a series of allegations that pre-date the election, including Mr Trump publicly urging Russia to hack Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's emails.

Mr Trump’s former election campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was accused of once working to further the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is now a leading focus of the investigation by American intelligence.

Mr Manafort volunteered to testify as part of the investigation and he is expected to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee, the panel’s chairman has said.

It came as a former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst warned the president could be forced to leave office over the investigations.

John Schindler, a security expert and former counterintelligence officer, said that if the US President was to face an indictment over allegations his campaign team colluded with Russia to disrupt the presidential election, it could put an end to his presidency.

Speaking to CBC radio, Mr Schindler said: "If, not just people around him, but the president himself is facing possible indictment down the road, that could be a game changer. He could be removed from office for that, whether he wants to be or not."


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