A former federal prosecutor sends in this note.
May 9, 2017: CNN reports that grand jury subpoenas have been issued in Flynn investigation.
May 9, 2017: Trump fires Comey.
Did Trump find out about the subpoenas and continued investigation before the decision to fire Comey? This could be a key fact for Mueller’s team to determine. If Trump was telling Comey to let Flynn go and then he finds out that, rather than letting him go, subpoenas start flying, that would be compelling evidence of intent to obstruct. Mueller will have to dig into internal White House communications (emails, texts, meetings) about what Trump knew about the Flynn investigation, when he knew it, and what he was saying about it to those in his orbit. Given what he was saying to Comey, you would have to imagine that he was saying a lot more to his inner circle.
Now, to be clear, we know that President Trump had stewed about Comey over the weekend of the 6th and 7th and reportedly decided to fire Comey over the weekend. We know more definitively that he took affirmative steps to fire Comey on Monday the 8th (when he met with Rosenstein and Sessions at the White House). So he didn’t make the decision on May 9th. But that’s the date CNN reported the grand jury subpoenas, not when the subpoenas were issued.
Down a bit in the CNN article, it says …
The subpoenas issued in recent weeks by the US Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, were received by associates who worked with Flynn on contracts after he was forced out as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, according to the people familiar with the investigation.
“Recent weeks” could go back a ways. But it also refers to when they were received. Presumably the President would not find out about the subpoenas immediately, if he ever found out about them at all. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a really good explanation of why Trump decided to fire Comey when he did. So this is a very interesting question.