Russia Election Hacking: Robert Mueller Likely to Interview Donald Trump
According to recent reports, President Donald Trump’s legal team is in talks with investigators who are seeking to interview him as part of a justice department probe.
The Washington Post, quoting an unnamed person close to President Trump, says investigation lead by Robert Mueller is likely to interview him within weeks.
President Trump’s legal team has not confirmed the reports.
Robert Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia in the US elections.
Tensions between Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to look into alleged Russian interference, and the president have risen since the investigation led to charges against several former members of Donald Trump’s campaign team.
Donald Trump’s administration denies working with Russia on the election, and the president has labeled the investigation “a witch hunt”.
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According to The Post, Robert Mueller first raised the possibility of interviewing the president in a meeting with his lawyers, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, in late December.
President Trump’s lawyers are reluctant to allow him to sit down for open-ended questioning and are discussing whether to allow him to provide written answers to some of the questions, The Washington Post and NBC News report.
According to NBC, which cited three people close to the story, the talks are “preliminary and ongoing”.
President Trump’s lawyers did not confirm the reports, but told both media outlets: “The White House is continuing its full co-operation with the OSC [Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller] in order to facilitate the earliest possible resolution.”
The Post, quoting an unnamed source, says the two sides planned to meet again to continue discussions on terms and substance of any interview.
Aside from the Russia angle, special counsel Robert Mueller may also look into whether the president and his inner circle sought to obstruct justice while in office following the firing of FBI director James Comey.
Robert Mueller was appointed by the justice department as special counsel shortly after James Comey’s dismissal.
Sitting presidents have been interviewed by prosecutors in the past, most notably when Democrat President Bill Clinton testified before a grand jury in 1998 over his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.