President Donald Trump is undoubtedly in full panic mode today after it was revealed that White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicated to the president’s legal team legal team that his office will seek an interview with the president.
The Washington Post reported that this caused a discussion among Trump’s attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on such a session. Mueller brought this potential meeting with Trump up late last month as he talked with the president’s lawyers, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. This meeting was also attended by Mueller deputy James Quarles, who oversees the White House portion of the special counsel investigation.
A person close to the president said that Mueller may interview Trump very soon on some limited portion of questions, possibly within the next several weeks.
“This is moving faster than anyone really realizes,” the person said.
However, Trump is rumored to be comfortable with participating in an interview, as he thinks it would put to rest questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election. In contrast, Trump’s attorneys are reluctant to allow him to sit down for open-ended, face-to-face questioning without clear parameters. The lawyers have spent the weeks since Mueller talked to them discussing whether the president could provide written answers to some portion of the questions from Mueller’s investigators, as then-President Ronald Reagan did during the Iran-contra investigation. They have also talked about the obligation of Mueller’s team to demonstrate they could not obtain the information they are seeking without interviewing the President.
“No lawyer just volunteers their client without thinking this through,” said one person close to the situation.
Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer overseeing the administration’s response to the Mueller investigation, released a statement saying that “the White House does not comment on communications with the OSC out of respect for the OSC and its process,” referring to the special counsel’s office.
“The White House is continuing its full cooperation with the OSC in order to facilitate the earliest possible resolution,” Cobb added.
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