Donald Trump Starts Informal Prep For Possible Robert Mueller Interview
President Donald Trump has reportedly started prepping for a potential interview with Robert Mueller, months after people began questioning whether the president would ever be willing to testify before the special counsel.
Donald Trump Begins Mueller Interview Prep News
One source with knowledge of this development told CNN that Trump’s preparation is “in its infancy.”
Though Trump has not formally agreed to meet with Mueller, the president has stated he would be prepared to speak with the special counsel on the matter of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians, and Mueller is also attempting to determine whether or not Trump tried to obstruct justice by impeding the probe in any way. Trump said he believes speaking with Mueller would help end the probe once and for all.
Mueller has already subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to its business dealings in recent weeks. Last month, Trump openly criticized the special counsel and his probe for the first time on Twitter. The president said the investigation should never have been held in the first place, and accused Mueller of receiving strong support from Democrats in his “witch hunt” against Trump.
There has recently been much speculation as to whether Trump will fire Mueller. Lawmakers from both major parties have warned of the drastic negative consequences this would have on the Russia probe.
Several top intelligence agencies have concluded there is sufficient evidence to state Russia meddled in the 2016 election. In May 2017, Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey after growing frustrated with findings about Comey conducting an investigation into the matter.
Some of Trump’s closest lawyers and advisers have expressed fear that the president speaking with Mueller could lead the special counsel to charge Trump with perjury.
Prosecutors in the Russia probe have already charged 19 individuals with lying and other criminal offenses. One individual, Dutch attorney Alexander Van Der Zwaan, was sentenced to 30 days in prison last week for lying about his contacts with former Trump aide Rick Gates.
It has not yet been determined whether or not Trump would speak under oath.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated this week that discussions remained ongoing between Trump and his lawyers about a potential interview with Mueller.
“The President is working in conjunction with his legal team and making a determination,” Sanders announced on Tuesday. “We’re continuing to be fully cooperative with the Office of the Special Counsel, and we’ll continue driving the same message that we’ve been driving for over a year, that there was no collusion.”
Several members of Trump’s legal team have resigned from defending the president in the Russia probe, citing frustrations with Trump’s repeated refusal to heed advice and instructions. John Dowd, Trump’s lead attorney in the investigation, left last month for this reason. Jay Sekulow, an outside lawyer, and White House attorney Ty Cobb are now the only remaining people defending Trump in the probe.