Dan Coats
Dan Coats
INDIANAPOLIS — Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was asked in 2017 by President Donald Trump to help end Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s alleged interference with the 2016 U.S. election, according to findings by Mueller’s team.

The redacted 448-page findings were released Thursday by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

According to the Mueller report, several times in 2017, Trump asked Coats to help end Mueller’s investigation. The investigation, Trump said, was interfering with his ability to conduct foreign relations.

Coats declined, saying his job was to provide intelligence and not get involved with investigations. He told the president that the fastest way to “get it done” was to let the investigation

run its course, according to the report. Coats, a Republican, served as a U.S. senator from Indiana 1989-1999. He also was the congressional representative for Indiana’s 4th District 1981-1989, after defeating then incumbent-Birch Bayh for his first term.

On March 22, 2017, Trump asked for Coats and CIA Director Michael Pompeo to stay after a White House meeting, according to the Mueller report. Coats recalled that he was asked to state publicly that no link existed between the president and Russia.

Pompeo said he had no recollection of being asked to stay behind after the March 22 briefing, but he recalled that the president “regularly urged officials to get the word out that he had not done anything wrong related to Russia,” the Mueller report found.

Coats told Mueller’s office that the president never asked him to speak to James Comey, whom Trump later fired as the director of the FBI, about the FBI investigation. However, some of Coats’ staffers offered different recollections of how Coats described the meeting immediately after it occurred.

According to senior Director of National Intelligence official Michael Dempsey, Coats said after the March 22 meeting that the president had brought up the Russia investigation and asked him to “contact Comey to see if there was a way to get past the investigation, get it over with, end it, or words to that effect,” according to the report.

Dempsey said that Coats described the president’s comments as falling “somewhere between musing about hating the investigation” and wanting Coats to “do something to stop it.” Dempsey said Coats made it clear that he would not get involved with an ongoing FBI investigation.

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